Phenotypic diversity of enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) landraces used in traditional medicine
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Enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) is a multipurpose food security crop extensively cultivated in southern and southwestern parts of Ethiopia. In addition to its wide consumption as a source of food and feed, some enset landraces are also used as a traditional medicine in some parts of the country. However, the latter are becoming vulnerable to various human-related activities and environmental constraints. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to investigate the diversity that exist in enset landraces used for traditional medicine. A field study was conducted in four Administrative Zones and one special District in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region in Ethiopia. A total of 14 qualitative traits were employed to investigate the diversity in 40 landraces through field observation, color charts and focus group discussion. The data were analyzed using SAS and MINITAB softwares. Principal component analysis showed that the first four principal components accounted for 77% of the total variations and classified the landraces into four distinct groups. Similarly, cluster analysis grouped the landraces into four major clusters each containing 4–15 landraces. In general, the 14 phenotypic traits used in this study are important in discriminating the landraces indicating the existence of high genetic diversity among the landraces which needs to be conserved for the future.
KeywordsCluster analysis Ensete ventricosum Phenotypic diversity Phenotypic traits Principal component analysis Traditional medicine
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia is gratefully acknowledged for its financial support. The farmers, key informants and development agents who involved in the field survey are acknowledged. Mr. Mohamed Derese is acknowledged for his support in data analysis. We also wish to thank agricultural offices of zonal and district levels for their kind cooperation during field survey.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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