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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321156

Research Project: Small Fruit and Ornamental Genetic Research for the Mid-South

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Diversity in nuclear DNA content and ploidy level of Hedychium species and hybrids

Author
item Sakhanokho, Hamidou
item ISLAM-FARIDI, NURUL - Us Forest Service (FS)
item Rajasekaran, Kanniah - Rajah
item Pounders Jr, Cecil

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Improvement
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2018
Publication Date: 3/5/2018
Citation: Sakhanokho, H.F., Islam-Faridi, N.M., Rajasekaran, K., Pounders Jr, C.T. 2018. Diversity in nuclear DNA content and ploidy level of Hedychium species and hybrids. Journal of Crop Improvement. 32(3):431-439. https://doi.org/10.1080/15427528.2018.1445679).
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15427528.2018.1445679)

Interpretive Summary: Hedychiums, also known as ornamental gingers or ginger lilies, are multipurpose plants cultivated as ornamentals because of their multicolor, showy, and scented flowers, and as medicinal plants because their essential oils that have been found to possess antimicrobial, as well as insecticidal properties. There is often taxonomic and botanical confusion about Hedychium species and cultivars because of the apparent existence of more than one cytotype within several Hedychium species, which is most likely due to the ease with which these species hybridize. Nuclear DNA content is the total DNA amount contained in the chromosomes in a single cell of an individual whereas the ploidy is the number of sets of chromosomes in a cell or cells of an organism. DNA content of 23 hedychium species and hybrids was determined using a flow cytometry machine. We also determined, for the first time, the chromosome number of one species, Hedychium stenopetalum, which was found to be diploid with 2n = 2x = 34 chromosomes. Our results should be helpful not only in clarifying the botanical and taxonomic confusion in Hedychium but also in paving the way for a sound breeding program for this increasingly important ornamental ginger.

Technical Abstract: Hedychiums are multipurpose plants cultivated as ornamentals because of their multicolor, showy, and scented flowers, and as medicinal plants because of their essential oils that have been found to possess antimicrobial and insecticidal properties. There is often taxonomic and botanical confusion about Hedychium species and cultivars because of the apparent existence of more than one cytotype within several Hedychium species, most likely because of the ease with which these species hybridize. Nuclear DNA content (2C-DNA) was determined for the first time in 23 Hedychium species and hybrids. The 2C-values ranged from 1.70 pg to 3.98 pg. We also determined the chromosome number of one species, Hedychium stenopetalum, which was found to be diploid (2n = 2x = 34), supporting the widely held view that the basic chromosome number in Hedychium is x = 17, and the existence of different cytotypes is most probably attributable to natural hybridization. Our results should be helpful not only in clarifying the botanical and taxonomic confusion in Hedychium but also in paving the way for a sound breeding program for this increasingly important ornamental ginger.