Ethnobotanical Knowledge of Lablab (Lablab Purpureus (L.) Sweet - Fabaceae) in Konso Zone and Genetic Diversity of Collections from Ethiopia Using SSR Markers

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Addis Ababa University


Lablab is an important multipurpose legume crop used for human consumption, animal feed and soil conservation. In spite of these qualities, the potential value of this crop has not been fully utilized, and little research attention has been given to this crop. The main objective of the study was to build the knowledge base from farmers’ perspectives and molecular genetic diversity analysis of Lablab collections using 15 SSR markers. The field study was conducted in December 2018 in six kebeles distributed in Konso zone by interviewing a total of 84 informants containing 72 randomly selected general informants and 12 purposively selected key informants (42 men and 42 women) of above 18 years age. The data were analyzed by entering the data into the excel spreadsheet version 2007 and summarized using descriptive statistics. A total of six Lablab farmers’ varieties were identified and the majority of the farmers give names to their varieties based on seed color. The main cultivation practices in the study area were intercropping Lablab with sorghum, maize and finger millet, and sole crop in the margin of terracing and fence line. In Konso zone, Lablab is mainly used for human food in the form of boiled grain (NIFRO), animal feed and soil conservation purpose. The molecular genetic diversity study of 91 lablab collections from the entire country revealed a total of 225 alleles with an average of 14.80 alleles per locus. All markers across the entire populations were found to be highly polymorphic and informative with PIC values ranging from 0.92 to 0.78 with a mean value of 0.85. The average expected heterozygosity and gene diversity was 0.75 and 0.86 respectively, indicating a high level of genetic diversity. Analysis of molecular variance showed that 94% of the total genetic variation was attributed to within populations while only 6% was attributed to among populations. The smaller Fixation Index value (0.061) recorded indicates the presence of moderate population differentiation as a result of higher gene flow (Nm =3.820) among populations. Cluster, PCoA and Structure analysis revealed a weak association between geographical origin and genetic diversity confirming the presence of population admixtures due to seed exchange and sharing. The observed higher genetic diversity in Konso and West Wellega zones indicates hot spot area for genetic diversity and germplasm evaluation. Generally, ethnobotanical knowledge and genetic diversity obtained from this study provides inputs for Lablab conservation and improvement in Ethiopia.



Ethnobotany, Gene Diversity, General Informants, Heterozygosity, Key Informants, Polymorphic