Genetic diversity of Vetiver clones (Chrysopogon zizanioides and Chrysopogon nigritana) available in South Africa based on sequencing analyses and anatomical structure
MetadataShow full item record
Vetiver grass or Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty (1960) is a sterile grass which can regenerate vegetatively from clumps of the rootstock. This, as well as its vigorous and deep root system and flood tolerance makes it an ideal candidate for the use in soil remediation and erosion control. In South Africa, Hydromulch (Pty) Ltd. is part of the landscape, soil reclamation and erosion control industry. The company uses vetiver grass on a wide scale and has accumulated a collection of isolates to serve as possible germ lines for industrial use. Due to the different approaches in environmental management as well as environmental factors, a variety of ecotypes form during the planting and acclimatisation of this genus. Chrysopogon nigritanus (Benth.) Veldkamp (1999), which is a native species to Africa, is closely related to C. zizanioides and differs only slightly from C. zizanioides on a morphological level. The major difference between the two species is that C. nigritanus is able to seed freely and thus the use of this species should be avoided. The need arose to screen other non-fertile plants to uncover additional genotypic variety to enable diversification of vetiver plantings. The aim of this study was to characterise the genotype of 19 isolates of vetiver obtained from Hydromulch (Pty) Ltd. via sequencing analyses of three DNA fragments, ITS, ndhF and rbcL. In addition, the radial root anatomy was also investigated and compared with the genetic analyses. According to the results generated during this study, very little or no genotypical differences exist amongst the different isolates available from the Hydromulch (Pty) Ltd. plant collection. Only in the case of the ITS inference were differences observed between three of the studied isolates. There was no significant difference between the different isolates based on the root anatomy, with the exception of two of the studied isolates which formed starch granules.