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Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Rutaceae) from Burkina Faso

Centre National de Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CNRST), Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles, 03 BP 7047 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
Laboratoire de Biochimie & Chimie Appliquées, Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, 09 BP 848 Ouagadougou 09, Burkina Faso
Plant Biodiversity Research, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Emil-Ramann Strasse 2, D-85354 Freising, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(9), 353;
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 12 September 2019 / Published: 19 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy and Classification)
Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides is a West African forest tree that is used for example against malaria and sickle cell anemia in Burkina Faso. The goal of this study was to analyze the genetic and morphological diversity of the species within wild populations in Burkina Faso, where it is potentially under threat due to the uncontrolled harvesting of its roots. Seventy-two trees from three different sites in Southwestern Burkina Faso were analyzed. Each tree was characterized by 12 traits specifying the period of flowering and maturity as well as morphological characteristics of the stem, leaves, and seeds. The molecular analysis was performed using two plastid DNA regions (psbA-trnH and trnL-trnF) and two nuclear regions (GBSSI and ITS) to identify the genetic diversity of the species for further development of a management plan for ex situ reproduction and in situ conservation. We found variability in morphological traits correlating with the geographic distance of the study sites. The molecular analysis, in contrast, revealed hardly any genetic variability among the tested trees and no population structure. Whether the differences in morphological traits are caused by different environmental conditions or by genetic variability in genes linked to morphological traits needs further testing. The apparent lack of genetic differentiation suggests that germplasm throughout the study region is suitable for planting in conservation actions. Efficient conservation management should involve local communities, especially those interested in traditional medicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: Burkina Faso; genetic diversity; morphological characterization; Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides Burkina Faso; genetic diversity; morphological characterization; Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides
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Ouédraogo, L.; Fuchs, D.; Schaefer, H.; Kiendrebeogo, M. Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Rutaceae) from Burkina Faso. Plants 2019, 8, 353.

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