Taxonomic review of chlorophytum comosum (asparagaceae) in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The delimitation of the genus Chlorophyturn specifically Chlorophytum comosum up to now has been based on morphological and cytological data. In this study I discuss specific delimitations of Chlorophytum comosum based on morphological characters and DNA sequences. Both herbarium and field samples were collected for morphological and molecular study. Independent and concateneted region of trnLF, RPS 16 and ITS were used to reconstruct the phylogenetic trees in order to check the monophyly of the C. comosum. Total of 23 qualitative and quantitative characters were used to assess the usefulness of characters in species delimitation. Molecular based results showed that C. comosum is polyphyletic because individual from West Africa, South Africa and from Tanzania did not fall in one clade but each formed separate clades. Materials from Tanzania fall in clade with species like C. filipendulum and C. rhizopendulum and C. clarae. Results based on quantitative characters showed that it is hard to delimit C. comosum from C. filipendulum and C. sparsiflorum due to great overlap of the characters. This study show that more materials are needed to solve the delimitation of specimen previously identified as C. comosum from Tanzania in order to confirm its placement and hence divide it into specific rank if deemed necessary.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QK495,A83T34M853)
Asparagaceae, Tanzania
Mwechaga, H S (2013),Taxonomic review of chlorophytum comosum (asparagaceae) in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam