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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Domestication Potential of Garcinia kola Heckel (Clusiaceae): Searching for Diversity in South Cameroon

Manourova, Anna; Chinheya, Irikidzai Prosper; Kalousova, Marie; Ruiz-Chutan, Jose Alejandro; Okafor, Uche Cyprian; Tchoundjeu, Zac; Tsobeng, Alain; Van Damme, Patrick; Lojka, Bohdan


Seeds and bark of Garcinia kola Heckel (Clusiaceae) are popular products in West and Central Africa. Despite the tree's economic and cultural importance, little is known about its phenotypic and genotypic variation. This study characterised the morphological and genetic diversity of G. kola in South Cameroon, searching for traits and populations that might be used for domestication. Morphological assessment and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers were applied to characterise diversity among geographic populations from Central and South regions, and between managed and wild trees. AFLP-SURV and analysis of molecular variance results indicated that a major part of genetic diversity is harboured within populations rather than between them. Bayesian analysis, principal component analysis and t-SNE identified three clusters where Ebolowa emerged as the transition population combining features from both regions. Trees from the South demonstrated a higher incidence of domestication-related traits, showing higher genetic diversity compared to the Central region. This suggests that individuals from the South might be more suitable for selection as "elite trees" in future breeding strategies for the species. No significant differences in phenotype and genotype were revealed between wild and managed populations, suggesting G. kola is still in the early stages of its domestication process.


AFLP; indigenous trees; fruit species; neglected crops; nontimber forest products; West Africa

Published in

2023, volume: 12, number: 4, article number: 742
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Chinheya, Irikidzai Prosper
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Kalousová, Marie
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Ruiz-Chután, José Alejandro
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Okafor, Uche Cyprian
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Tchoundjeu, Zac
Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences
Tsobeng, Alain
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Van Damme, Patrick
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Lojka, Bohdan
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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