Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 1529–1550 | Cite as

Current knowledge and breeding perspectives for the spider plant (Cleome gynandra L.): a potential for enhanced breeding of the plant in Africa

  • A. O. Kwarteng
  • J. Abogoom
  • R. Adu Amoah
  • D. Nyadanu
  • T. Ghunney
  • K. C. Nyam
  • J. Z. Ziyaaba
  • E. O. Danso
  • D. D. Asiedu
  • T. Whyte
Notes on Neglected and Underutilized Crops


Cleome gynandra is one of the most promising African leafy vegetables consumed in most parts of Africa. The crop is a rich source of vitamins A and C and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and protein. The leaves and seeds of spider plant are used in indigenous medicine in several countries. Despite the numerous nutritive benefits and ethnopharmacological uses of the plant, C. gynandra is still underutilized due to lack of awareness and promotion of production technologies and utilization. Available information is limited and short on several relevant and rudimentary components. Hence, this review focuses on the current knowledge on C. gynandra, with regards to its botany, ecology, cultivation systems, utilization, nutraceutical properties as well as the breeding avenues that will contribute to promoting the species, aimed at ensuring food and nutritional security and efficient management of its genetic resources. Breeding programmes aimed at minimizing the bitterness of the leaves so to arouse the interest of consumers, and the mechanisms involved in the responses and adaptation of C. gynandra as a C4 plant to salinity stress, were also explored.


African leafy vegetables Agrobacterium-mediated transformation Bitterness Breeding Cleome gynandra C4 Germplasm collection Nutraceutical importance Salinity stress Tissue culture 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. O. Kwarteng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Abogoom
    • 3
  • R. Adu Amoah
    • 3
  • D. Nyadanu
    • 4
  • T. Ghunney
    • 3
  • K. C. Nyam
    • 3
  • J. Z. Ziyaaba
    • 3
  • E. O. Danso
    • 3
  • D. D. Asiedu
    • 3
  • T. Whyte
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Biodiversity, Agriculture and Food, Society and the Environment (BASE)Université Paris-SaclayParisFrance
  2. 2.AgroParisTechParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  4. 4.Cocoa Research Institute of GhanaAkim TafoGhana

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