Elijah Nya*, Lucy Owoh, Ofonime Udofia, Inyang Udosen, Eme G Ogidi, Godwin Elijah
Gnetum africanum is a twisted woody climbing wild plant liana found growing naturally in dense equatorial rainforest but currently domesticated in tropical areas of the world. There has been taxonomic confusion in classifying this liana due to its observable diverse morphological characters. Indeed, morphological characterization alone has not offer the needed solution. However, there is dearth of information on the molecular characterization of Gnetum africanum. Morphological and molecular descriptors, could help offers the needed phenotypic and genotypic characterization of this plant much better. This study is aimed at characterizing Gnetum africanum land races to identify species that could be used for the development of high yielding hybrids. Three different land races or accessions of Gnetum africanum was collected from different locations in Nigeria. High quality genomic DNA was isolated from the different samples; it was checked for purity and quantified as appropriate. The DNA samples were subjected to PCR amplification and DNA barcoding studies (chloroplast large subunit of ribose 1,5-bisphophate carboxylase rbcL gene). The amplicons were gel eluted, sequenced and checked for homology by using Basic local alignment search tool BLAST. Identification was obtained from the top similar outcomes of the samples. For Ekim (1b) sample, the forward blast showed 95% similarity with Basella alba voucher ID: NC041293.1 and the reverse had 88% similarity with Talinum fruticosum cultivar ID: MK598685.1. For etinan (1a) sample, the forward blast had 86% similarity with rhabdo thamnus solandri voucher ID: JQ933464.1 and for reverse, there was no similarity founded.