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Genetic improvement of selected indigenous Cucurbitaceae species important for food and medicinal purposes in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Ferreira, D.P.
dc.contributor.advisor Hannweg, K.
dc.contributor.advisor Zobolo, A.M.
dc.contributor.author Ntuli, Nontuthuko Rosemary
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-08T12:18:36Z
dc.date.available 2011-09-08T12:18:36Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.other 311479
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/869
dc.description Submitted for partial fulfilment of the academic requirements for the degree Master of Science in the Department of Botany at the University of Zululand, 2007. en_US
dc.description.abstract Coccinia palmata (Cogn.) and Lagenaha sphaerica (Sond.) Naud. are indigenous Cucurbitaceae species widely distributed in pantropical to tropical regions of Southern Africa. They are widely used for food and medicinal purposes, in nature these species exist as diploids, with their basic haploid (n) chromosome numbers being 12 and 11 for C. palmata and L sphaerica respectively. However, in higher plants nuclear DNA endoreduplication often occurs during their growth and differentiation which causes polysomaty in their tissues. For both C. palmata and L sphaerica, the optimum germination conditions were 25°C under light. Growth was either in the nursery (in pots/bags) or in the field (with and without bags). Colchicine treatment of seeds before and after incubation for germination was used to induce polyploidy in both of these Cucurbitaceae species. The effectiveness of colchicine in inducing polyploidy (genetic improvement) in the roots and shoots of both species was established. In both species treated roots had higher tetraploid and octoploid ratios than leaves. Colchicine treatment lowered the germinability (germination percentage), induced dwarfism, enhanced stem branching, reduced leaf area and number of stomata, and increased guard cell length and leaf chlorophyll content in both species. In C. palmata, colchicine treatment increased root fresh and dry weight but reduced shoot fresh and dry weight. However, colchicine treatment inhibited female plants' flowering and therefore fruiting in both species. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Cucurbitaceae--Genetic engineering--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal en_US
dc.title Genetic improvement of selected indigenous Cucurbitaceae species important for food and medicinal purposes in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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