Systematic studies in the genus Solanum in Africa

Jaeger, Peter-Martin Lind (1986). Systematic studies in the genus Solanum in Africa. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Africa is a major centre of diversity in the large cosmopolitan genus Solanum. The genus is an important component of the African flora, and, with a variety of uses, many of the species have a significant interaction with man. The objective of the present study was an elucidation of some of the many taxonomic problems found among the African species of the genus. The systematic history of the African species of Solanum is reviewed to provide an insight into the origins of the nomenclatural problems that pervade the genus. Taxonomic characters are described and assessed, and the phytogeography of the genus is discussed. The results of cross-pollinations and protein comparisons using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and serological techniques are discussed. No new insights into the taxonomy of the African species were revealed by these experimental studies and the potential for further work is reviewed. An adaptation of earlier methods of analysis of serological data is described. In conclusion a taxonomic review is presented: species of Solanum occurring in Africa and the neighbouring islands are described accompanied by keys and comments on typification, distribution and synonymy. Around 80 species are believed to be autochthonous; three new species are proposed. An index to the species names in the review lists 392 epithets.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Science
School or Department: Department of Plant Biology
Funders: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany


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