Phenotypic diversity in fruit and seed traits, and neutral genetic diversity in Allanblackia Floribunda

Authors: Atangana, Alain Rene
Advisor: Khasa, Damase P.; Beaulieu, Jean
Abstract: Allanblackia floribunda or tallow tree is a tropical forest-tree species that is valued for its seeds, which are rich in hard fat consisting mostly of stearic and oleic acids, reported to lower plasma cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risks of heart attack. Owing to this fat profile, Allanblackia oil is used for margarine production and in soap and ointments manufacture, and seeds extracted from Allanblackia fruits by local communities are traded. We determined whether the species could be genetically improved for fruit/seed production by sampling 17 to 40 fruits from each of 70 trees that were distributed among four sites in wild stands. Fat was extracted from the seeds, and stearic and oleic acid content of the fat was estimated using methods developed in this study. Phenotypic variation in fruit/seed traits was assessed within- and among-trees, and among sites. Repeatabilities were estimated for measured characters, and relationships between these characters investigated. Twenty “plus trees” were selected for breeding, and implications for improvement discussed. Then we isolated and characterized ten microsatellite primer pairs for A. floribunda. Seven of these microsatellite loci were polymorph for both Allanblackia gabonensis and Allanblackia stanerana species as well. Using eight informative microsatellite loci, we have characterized the genetic structure of A. floribunda natural populations from Cameroon, and inferred the recent history of rainforests from Central Africa. No significant difference was identified in genetic parameters between wild stands and the breeding population, indicating that breeding A. floribunda from 20 trees would not reduce nuclear genetic diversity. However, a slight increase in inbreeding was observed in the breeding population, and recommendations for genetic diversity conservation during tree improvement in the species are made.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2010
Open Access Date: 16 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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