Ecogeographical distribution of wild, weedy and cultivated Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench in Kenya: implications for conservation and crop-to-wild gene flow.

Muraya, MM



The potential gene flow between a crop and its wild relatives is largely determined by the overlaps in their ecological and geographical distributions. Ecogeographical databases are therefore indispensable tools for the sustainable management of genetic resources. In order to expand our knowledge of Sorghum bicolor distribution in Kenya, we conducted in situ collections of wild, weedy and cultivated sorghum. Qualitative and quantitative morphological traits were measured for each sampled wild sorghum plant. Farmers’ knowledge relating to the management of sorghum varieties and autecology of wild sorghum was also obtained. Cluster analysis supports the existence of several wild sorghum morphotypes that might correspond to at least three of the five ecotypes recognized in Africa. Intermediate forms between wild and cultivated sorghum belonging to the S. bicolor ssp. drummondii are frequently found in predominantly sorghum growing areas. Crop-wild gene flow in sorghum is likely to occur in many agroecosystems of Kenya.


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