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Genetic diversity assessment and its importance on crop improvement in ethiopia: potentials and challenges.


The knowledge of genetic diversity has provided a good opportunity for plant breeders, to develop superior crop cultivar with desirable property which is quit suitable for both farmer, consumers, traders for commercial purpose and to Secure food consumption (Narain, 2000). The diversity within crop appears to be high which is confusing for plant breeders to breed that genotype (Cubry et al., 2008). So that, it is crucial to study the genetic diversity of plant for further study, genetic improvement and conservation of germplasm for breeding purpose (Desalegn et al., 2008). For example, researchers to avoid taxonomic confusion, to depict genetic distance of coffee genotype and to provide basic breeding information for breeders' research has been done using molecular markers, biochemical test and morphological trait (Desalegn et al., 2008).

The basic steps in meaningful breeding program are studying the genetic diversity of plant material using reliable and accurate means. Comprehensively, to explain the divergence of plant cultivar breeder can use diverse data sets from the morphology of plant, biochemical nature and genetic makeup of the crop (Mostafa, 2011). In order that to determine and characterize the genetic relationship between cultivars using friendly software package aids to generate reliable and useful information for researchers. The fundamental reason for undertaking diversity analysis also stems from the trend of monitoring diversity. The human and material resource to trace poverty has been identified and explained by a strong motive of different econometrics, but it fails to identify basic crop improvement techniques to address food insecurity problem in the world (Baudoin et al., 2001).

Genetic diversity assessment plays a pivotal role in crop improvement. It provides information about the evolution of genetic divergence and serves a podium for specific procreation objectives. It identifies parental combinations useful to create segregating progenies with maxim genetic potential for advance selection, as demonstrated by (Barrett and Kidwell, 1998).For example, the genetic diversity of faba bean based on morphological data was investigate to provide meaningful breeding information in Ethiopia (Gemechu Keneni et al., 2005). Commercial varieties of field pea were characterized using IRAP, SSR and RBIP and, they become a good potential planting material source for researchers and breeders to improve its production (Smykal et al., 2008).

In addition diversity analysis is also required for global perspective of agrobiodiversity and molecular evolution. Comparison of various ecotypes, for instance, cultivated and related wild coffees were compared and identified interms of quality (Cubry et al., 2008). There have been some molecular studies on estimating the existing genetic diversity among selected enset collections of the country. Birmeta et al (2002) did RAPD analysis of genetic diversity among different enset clones from Southern Ethiopia. Absence of gene flow from wild to cultivated enset has also been reported from RAPD-based study made on the wild and cultivated enset gene pools (Birmeta et al., 2004). Therefore, molecular characterization of the available germplasm, with a better sampling coverage and the use of informative molecular markers may produce a good estimate of the genetic diversity for utilization in further improvement of the crop and its conservation. The phylogeny obtained from the most recent research is always indicator of the progress of the diversity.

Now a day, plant breeders has tried a lot to increase production and productivity of market oriented, quality, disease resistance, pest resistance, drought resistance and nutracutical crops using characterized planting materials which is as such effective to address food insecurity problem. On the other hand, lack of knowledge about the genetic diversity of domestic crops is jamming the improvement of crop production. Usually, a plant breeder has been waste much resource, time and a lot energy to improve crop production without knowing variability of plant which was little significant in crop improvement (Winter and Kahl, 1995).

Genetic diversity assessment is at juvenile stage due to the presence of limited research in the specific varieties of Ethiopia. Generally, the taxonomic classification and characterization of the varieties is critical for crop improvement even if it is not well developed in Ethiopia. Farmer varieties and their wild type contributed to advancements of the economic sector and agricultural sector of Ethiopia for they are adapted to various agro ecosystems of the country (Negash Almaz, 2001).

Based on the available literature, this paper reviews the importance of taxonomic classification and genetic diversity assessment of Ethiopian crops; Gaps in Developing Taxonomy of Ethiopian crops and minimizing taxonomic confusions, Monitoring diversity for crop improvement, Alterations in landscape features, Significance of Germplasm Conservation, Gap in morphological characterization, Global perspective of agro biodiversity and molecular evolution, Emergence of tissue culture technology in Ethiopia, Germplasm improvement for breeder.


Taxonomic classification of crops is the primary task before launching ample of projects which could be of breeding experiment or whatever. Obviously, most of the crops are part of global biodiversity. Hence, there is no "taxonomy of crop" specific to Ethiopia. But, the gene pool is not monotonous throughout the globe revealing that there could be specific variety pertinent to Ethiopia. That's why it is always underlined that the taxonomy of Ethiopian crops is at its juvenile stage for the presence of limited research in the specific varieties of Ethiopia.

Generally, the taxonomic classification and characterization of the varieties is not well developed in Ethiopia. Farmer varieties and their wild type contributed to advancements of the economic sector and agricultural sector of Ethiopia for they are adapted to various agro ecosystems of the country (Negash Almaz, 2001). It has been long time since landraces came in to the attention of Ethiopian researchers. Most of the researches were morphological characterizations based on superficial features although there has been encouraging efforts for molecular characterization to know diversity of crop. Thus, it is high time to scale up the level of research and allot full time engagement in the molecular characterization of landraces. Classification at family, genus and species level of Ethiopian crops is quite advanced for it follows a global trend.

However, classification at subspecies and variety level remains to be a challenge especially when we think of the entire farmer varieties. On farm characterization had been undertaken throughout the development of the Agricultural sector in Ethiopia. Recent advancement in biological science is introducing molecular tools to detect variation at the genetic level. There is a growing concern of molecular characterization research in Ethiopian crops even though it is unsatisfactory.

The taxonomical hierarchy of farmer varieties, wild types, subspecies of crops and others will be completely resolved via the applications of tools of biological science at molecular level. The farmer varieties are given a vernacular or local name. Different ethnic groups may give different name for same crop resulting in confusion (Negash Almaz, 2001). Convergent evolution also complicates taxonomy of Ethiopian crops. Due to similar environmental factors detected in various agroecosystems, crops of different taxonomic group may appear similar morphologically and this has to be resolved. Consequently, the ultimate remedy to find resolution for this confusion lies within the molecular machineries of cell, which are novel tools for they determine a given trait or phenotype, which is a reflection of the genes or alleles hosted in the entire genome (Rohlf., 2002).


The application of molecular markers for monitoring DNA sequence variation was underlined (Bagali et al., 2010). Monitoring genetic diversity is of paramount importance even if some species of crops are over studied at molecular level in Ethiopia (Table 2). The task of characterization is a continuous process. Anthropogenic and environmental burdens may lead to a decrease in the overall diversity. Crop genetic diversity is threatened due to loss of farmer varieties following a subsequent replacement by selected seed, drought conditions, forest destruction, soil erosion, invasion and other factors. In evolutionary time scale, there could be splitting of species of crops via events of speciation and merging of different species of crops. Sometimes, hybrids are created due to a random cross in the natural population. Frequently, transgenic crops are adopted as a technology. These plants may reproduce with native crops and affect the native allele frequency. Eventually, mutation due to the existence of mutagens may affect allele frequency of native crops if mutation occurs randomly. Thus, it is desirable to undertake monitoring study to avail the most updated taxonomy.


The diversities of the crops are due to landscape variation, climate change, edaphic and other environmental factors. Above all, topography may attribute to minor genetic differences detected within same species. The agroecological zones are quite varying. A digital map of the ecosystem is available at this moment (Eticha et al., 2010). The articulated lands of Ethiopia with the unique topography created following tectonic movements and numerous geological events attributes to the diverse agroecosystem. The traditional classification like "Dega", "Weyna Dega", "Kola" and the like emanated from altitudinal difference and other factors. All in all, in this unique landscape, various endemic species, farmer varieties and unique ecosystems are harbored and a variety of crops are cultivated. Wild types of various domesticated crops occur. Following the diversity of the crops, much more effort had been attempted to undertake morphological characterizations.

Ethiopia is one of the Vavilov centers meaning centre of origin for various crops. Most probably, the landscape variation attributes for that diversity detected to qualify the country for Vailovian center. Ethiopia is mentioned to be centre of origin for Abyssinian hard wheat, poulard wheat, emmer, Polish wheat, barley, grain sorghum, pearl millet, African millet, cowpea, flax, teff, sesame, castor bean, garden cress, coffee, okra, myrrh and indigo ( There is a continuous change happening to the landscape following a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A typical example is the process of desertification which occurs in dry land and desert habitats. This may contribute to microhabitat variation that may affect crop diversity. For example, the diversity of barely in Ethiopia is quite high for an extended history of cultivation and variant agroecosystems (Eticha et al., 2010).

Environmental factors as a varied soil types, altitudinal variation and climatic factors attribute to the diversity of barely manifested in Ethiopia. The morphologically characterized landraces of barley (Ababadhas, Abashewaye, Balame, Butuji, Garbuguracha, Hadho, Kate, Kitankite, Luka'a, Muga, Samareta, Shamari, Sidamo and Warkina) collected from west showa showed that alteration of landscape feature is the cause for the divergence of barely genotype (Eticha et al., 2010). Beside this, 568 SSR markers were developed for molecular characterization of Barley collected from Tunisia, Syria and Danemark to demonstrate the effect of environment on barley species (Chaabane et al., 2009).

Barriers may be created following change happening to a land mass. Thus, the diversity detected in the present time will never remain the same given there is a continual variation in landscape. The overall implication of this review is diversity of crops has no limit and there is no time to ascertain that the entire diversity is studied once and for all to support conventional plant breeding.


Intimidation on various crops leads to the urgent need of characterizing the plant to launch appropriate conservation programs for breeding purpose. There is a continual loss of land races. Above all, there is usually under-representation of in-situ and ex-situ sites. Even for some species, in-situ and ex-situ conservation approaches may not be commenced. With the aid of molecular markers, exsitu and in-situ conservation and genetic diversity conservation is possible (Bagali et al., 2010). It is common to encounter limited number of accessions in gene bank. As it has been said repeatedly, the Ethiopian crops are under extensive human induced pressure and natural disasters. Preserving species is uneasy before knowing diversity at gene, species and ecosystem/agroecosystem level. A case study on coffee guides to select and conserve populations to encompass maximum genetic diversity instead of conserving the entire population for it is cumbersome and impractical from resource point of view (Alemayehu Teresa, 2007). It has been said that improving and utilizing crops are hindered by insufficient knowledge about the genetic diversity (Negash Almaz 2001). It is critical to investigate the molecular diversity of the crops either to update existing information or initiate establishment of field genebank/community gene bank, botanical garden, green house, preservation in test tube and tissue culture based preservation means.

Gene bank of Ethiopia has collected seeds of the various Ethiopian crops. For instance, germplasm of Ethiopian crops is not necessarily in Ethiopia. There is wild coffee collection in CIRAD, French Guiana (Cubry et al, 2008). These collections may not be characterized well except attempts in morphological level characterization although there have been several attempts of molecular characterization. Local experts usually encounters duplicates, same thing coded as different variety in gene bank. Some accessions in gene bank may not be characterized even at morphological level. During collection, collectors who deposit seed in gene bank might skip critical places endemic to a particular crop. Epigenetic changes may happen to stored and conserved seeds. With the aid of markers, seed mixtures, duplications and genetic drift will be studied. This reveals that undertaking molecular characterization will aid to evaluate the existing status about the existing germplasm.


The Ethiopian agroecosystems which affects the physical appearance of economically important crop is poorly understood. Perhaps, the existing agroecosystem is always under revision. The forest cover, land cover and land use classification is poorly understood though to date, there is positive insight. Thus, scientists who conducted morphological characterization in Ethiopian crops may not undertake intensive allocation of wild crops for knowledge gap in the updated agroecosystem map of Ethiopia. They may visit similar agroecosystems during morphological characterization. This couldn't hood to detect exact crop variation, because the physical appearances of crops are highly sensitive to environmental factor.

For example, current updates of in the science of coffea arabica revealed that this species is frequently studied via morphological characterization to resolve fallacies of classical taxonomy but it was not as such informative to classify the botanical base of this species. But, no single researcher is here to continue research about molecular characterization of coffee. Although several authors conducted research on this species, it is never exhaustive and representative of the whole part of the country. It is possible to hypothesize that not all parts of Ethiopian places are studied for their coffee genetic diversity. It is not doubtful to say every scientist visit south west Ethiopia (centre of origin for coffee) to study the molecular ecology of Coffee. But, there could be other places which we need to explore. Even north western Ethiopia, which is not known as coffee endemic area, was identified for coffee collection (Desalegn et al., 2008). For example, one may explore the south eastern part of Ethiopia, which seems to lack intensive molecular characterization research of the Hare coffea, which is hypothesized to be the source for the Coffee cultivated in Yemen. The former study might be inadequate calling for further research. It is high time to explore the entire diversity of Ethiopian coffee using molecular markers besides the pre-existing studies. Generally, thus, it is highly likely that there are places in Ethiopia, which are not explored and studied for their crop genetic diversity.


Comparison of various ecotypes is the day of the trend. Speciation events could happen some years back in evolutionary time scale. That speciation might happen during segregation of a big land mass that could happen following disasters like continental drift. So, it is good to collect samples from different countries and bioregions for implementing comparative approach of phylogenic study to document global agrobiodiversity and understand pattern of diversity globally. For example, most of the researches about Coffee were not studied based on collections from a single country. Coffee collected from France, Uganda and Ethiopia was characterized (Cubry et al., 2008). Coffee collected from Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Costa Rica, La Reunion, Coted'Ivoire, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan were characterized using AFLP and SSR (Anthony et al. 2002; Moncada and McCouch, 2004). Barely collected from Tunisia, Syria and Denmark were characterized using SSR (Chaabane et al., 2009). In addition collection of Pisum sativum from Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Jordan, Algeria, Tajikistan, Nepal, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Rusian Federation, India, Ethiopia, Germany, United Kingdom, Rusian Federation, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Algeria and Egypt were characterized using SSR markers (Nasiri et al., 2009).

Fundamental biology in the area of molecular science is also far from advancement in Ethiopia. Unique genes harbored in the Ethiopian crops must be over studied to increase our understanding about fundamental evolutionary biology. Understanding evolutionary aspects like plant evolution from wild type may enhance future attempts in laboratory evolution, which happens in relatively short period of time. New networks of evolutionary units or an updated phylogenetic tree can be discovered should studies direct towards consideration of samples from different countries. The phylogeny obtained from the most recent research is always indicator of the progress of the diversity. So, it is equally important to trace evolutionary origin of crops and deduce a biologically sensible evolutionary tree/ endrogram.


Tissue culture is the in vitro aseptic culture of cells, tissues, organs or whole plant under controlled nutritional and environmental conditions (Thorpe, 2007) often to produce the clones of plants. The science of plant tissue culture takes its roots from proposal of, Schleiden and Schwann (1838), that cell is the basic unit of all living organisms. Based on this premise, in 1902, Gottlieb Haberlandt, a German physiologist, attempted to culture isolated single palisade cells from leaves in knop's salt solution enriched with sucrose for the first time. Plant tissue culture is done in the countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo and some projects have already been commercialized (Mtui, 2011). Plant tissue culture technology is the likely opportunity for Ethiopian agricultural system towards improving agricultural yields (Hussain et al., 2012).

Advancement in tissue culture calls for molecular characterization. Tissue culture experiments that are conducted at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and other places release tissue culture pure lines. For example, Ethiopia has a number of plants generated from a tissue culture experiment. Although the country has no prolonged experience in tissue culture, presently tissue culture experiments are expanding (Seid, 2013). Recently there are many tissue culture protocols developed in majority of crops in Ethiopia (Table 3). And National Agricultural biotechnology Research Center of Ethiopia also launched various tissue culture programs in crops like enset, sweet potato, grape etc. In addition there are some commercial tissue culture laboratories in Ethiopia including Tigray biotechnology institute (TBI) and Amhara tissue culture laboratories. This rapid expansion of the program will be accompanied with release of varieties propagated from tissue culture in the near future.

The objectives of tissue culture experiments, the explants source and the status vary in different crop (Table 3). In most tissue culture experiments like the experiments conducted at EIAR, generating identical progeny is the principal aim, thus, there shouldn't be diverse clones. However, there are variant clones with minor genetic difference due to the existence of somaclonal variation (a variation occurring in plant tissue culture). This variation could be due to point mutation, gene duplication, and chromosomal rearrangement, changes in number of chromosome, transposable element movement and DNA methylation and occur in the nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplast may be contributes by the hormone 2, 4-D (Larkin Philip; Bagali et al., 2010). It could be created by the various factors during manipulation of a tissue culture. This variation is crucial in germplasm improvement programs like acquiring disease resistant plant. In tissue culture experiments which have aim of generating uniform clones, soma clonal variation is disadvantageous. It may have effect on the genetic composition in occasional cases. During somatic embryogenesis and callus production of cotton using 2, 4-D, variation at DNA level was detected in cell lines based on characterization studies conducted using RAPD and SSR markers (Jin et al., 2008).


For instance, studying the genetic diversity of crops using markers have an immense applications to detect genetic variations, identification of cultivar and planning of breeding. Combining the right alleles is of great significance for breeding. Thus, characterization using molecular markers has a considerable importance to design an effective program in breeding. Crop improvement has a value of achieving a desired genetic combination from different lines, selecting specific genotypes from a bunch of genotypes and maintaining and perpetuating the favorite genotype (Clegg et al., 1999). Conventional breeding takes long years like 8 and 12 years. It takes much time and relies on the external environment. Shortly, a variety with better yield and rich in nutrition can be produced via marker assisted selection and breeding. Also molecular breeding to investigate biotic and a biotic stress is possible using molecular markers (Bagali et al., 2010).


Ethiopia is an agrarian country that can have enormous benefit from the applications of biotechnology for increasing its agricultural productivity. The country is at initial stages of research and development in agricultural biotechnology with scattered efforts underway in various public institutions. Research efforts and applications in crop production include plant tissue culture, biofertilizers and biopesticides, molecular markers for disease diagnosis and genetic diversity. Know a day, based on the available genetic diversity research result breeders has been released many improved crop varieties within a short period of time without wasting to much energy to secure food consumption in the country. Its productivity is increased from time to time.

Ethiopian government development strategy recognizes the leading role of agriculture in the economy and stipulates that for the country to record rapid economic prosperity. The strategy identifies information and communication technology and biotechnology as essential tools for genetic diversity assessment and rapid transformation of largely subsistence mode of production to market-oriented production enterprises that ultimately lead to industrialization.


Diversity of plant genetic resource is very crucial asset for human kind that Agriculturist should not lost and attention should be given to evaluate the diversity for breeding feature. The production and productivity of crops should be highly supported by modern technology to examine the diversity of planting materials which are increasingly required to be accessible for feeding a burgeoning world population in future. Assessing genetic variability of crops is essential for its further improvement by providing options for the breeders to develop new superior crop varieties and hybrids within a short period of time without wasting too much time, energy and resource. This can be highly achieved by molecular characterization of Plant genetic resource. Molecular markers are central tools for measuring the diversity of plant species. Many important factors are considered when we are going to choose tools for genetic diversity such as Low assay cost, affordable hardware, throughput, convenience, and ease of assay development and automation.

Now it is possible to characterize a large number of genotypes using high throughput molecular marker technologies with limited time and resource which is ensuring speedy and quality of data generated. Many software package are available to evaluate and/or asses molecular diversity which speed up selection of superior varieties for breeding programs and plant breeders to speed up the crop improvement. Therefore, we believe that this paper provides useful and fashionable information for breeders; it improves the understanding of molecular tools for students about molecular characterization and also practical applicability to the researchers.


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Abebaw Misganaw is at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Obssi Dessalegn is at the University of Gondar department of Biotechnology, Gondar, Ethiopia


Obssi Dessalegn, University of Gondar department of Biotechnology, Ethiopia. Email:
Table 1: Genetic diversity assessment and its
importance on crop improvement

Crops list         Assessment method

Brassica juncea    Biochemical,
                   markers and SSR

bread wheat        tandemly repeated
                   DNA motifs

Cassava            SSR marker

Common Bean        principal component
                   analysis varimax
                   rotation and method
Fenugreek          AFLP analysis

Maize              SSR Marker

Maize              Morphological and
                   molecular methods
Mango              Multivariate
Naked barley       Agromorphological
                   traits, biochemical
                   and molecular
Oilseed            AFLP, ISSR and SSR
  rape, lotus,     markers
Pea                SSR Markers
physic nut         Morphological and
Potato             AFLP markers

Rice               Molecular markers,
Sesame             AFLP

Shorea Tumbaggia   RAPD

Sorghum            Morph-physiological

Sorghum            SSR

sunflower          Dynamic modeling

Tea                RAPD

Tobacco            Morphological
                   analysis and ISSR

Tomato             Morphological and
                   molecular marker
wheat              Biochemical,
                   and physiological
                   and RAPD Analysis
white clover       AFLP

Yam                AFLP, SSR and ISSR

Crops list         Diversity Assessment for (specific trait)

Brassica juncea    For discriminating genotypes, phenotypic
                   variability, Genetic distance, high seed
                   yield, high oil content together with
                   low amount of glucosinolate in seed meal
                   and low erucic acid
bread wheat        For integrative biodiversity indicators
                   such as HT*, that take into account the
                   full range of factors (varietal
                   richness, spatial evenness, between-
                   variety genetic diversity and within-
                   variety genetic diversity)
Cassava            Genetic differentiation among accessions
                   from different regions
Common Bean        For improvement of nitrogen fixation
                   ability and seed production

Fenugreek          For relationship of accessions from Iraq
                   and Pakistan
Maize              pro-vitamin A content

Maize              Effects of Transgenic Maize in Mexico

Mango              For genetic divergence, morphological
                   characters and geographical distribution
Naked barley       To determine the relationships of
                   genetic distance estimates

Oilseed            TBP (tubulin-based polymorphism), for
  rape, lotus,     tubulin proteins and revealed high
  coffee           genetic distances
Pea                For development of true hybrids
physic nut         For normal toxic and non toxic nature

Potato             Geographical differentiation in potato
Rice               Starch quality, germplasm assessment and
                   utilization of the genetic diversity
Sesame             Geographical origins and morphological
Shorea Tumbaggia   For successful management and
                   preservation of natural populations and
                   conservation of the species
Sorghum            Assessment for drought tolerant

Sorghum            Genetic and geographical diversity, for
                   various biotic and abiotic stresses and
                   developing recombinant inbred line
sunflower          For assessment whether specific
                   adaptation of cultivars.
Tea                Genetic variation among tea clone

Tobacco            For selecting superior and genetically
                   divergent parents for hybridization to
                   optimize the genetic variation of
                   subsequent generations
Tomato             For high yielding tomato accessions

wheat              For endosperm proteins, assessment of
                   parental variability and agronomic

white clover       Accurately quantify individual genetic
Yam                Estimate the genetic diversity
                   maintained by traditional farmers

Crops list         Reference

Brassica juncea    (Singh, Bangari, Singh, & Tewari, 2011);
                   (Vinu et al., 2013)

bread wheat        (Bonneuil et al., 2012)

Cassava            (Turyagyenda et al., 2012)

Common Bean        (Golparvar, 2011)

Fenugreek          (Al-Maamari, Al-Sadi, & Al-Saady, 2014)

Maize              (Adeyemo, Menkir, Melaku, & Omidiji,
Maize              (Ellstrand, Raven, Snow, & Solleiro,
Mango              (Majumder et al., 2013)

Naked barley       (Eshghi, Abrahimpour, Ojaghi, &
                   Salayeva, 2012)

Oilseed            (Bardini et al., 2004); (Havlickova,
  rape, lotus,     Jozova, Rychla, & Klima, 2014)
Pea                (Ahmad, 2012)
physic nut         (Gohil & Pandya, 2008)

Potato             (Esfahani, Shiran, & Balali, 2009)

Rice               (AO et al., 2016); (Lin et al., 2012);
                   (Li & Zhang, 2002)
Sesame             (G. M. Ali, Yasumoto, & Katsuta, 2007)

Shorea Tumbaggia   (Sasikala & Kamakshamma, 2015)

Sorghum            (M. Ali, Niaz, Abbas, Sabir, & Jabran,
Sorghum            (Kunyuga, 2012);(Madhusudhana,
                   Balakrishna, Rajendrakumar, Seetharama,
                   & Patil, 2012)
sunflower          (Casadebaig & Trepos, 2014)

Tea                (Shefali Boonerjee, M. Nurul Islam,
Tobacco            (Maryan, Lahiji, & Deylami, 2012)

Tomato             (Sciences, Naz, Zafrullah, Shahzadhi, &
                   Munir, 2013)

wheat              (Jan et al., 2014) (Chavan & Patil,
                   2015); (Grewal et al, 2007); (Mishra et
                   al., 2015); (Pordel-maragheh, 2013)

white clover       (Khanlou, Vandepitte, Asl, & B, 2011)

Yam                (Nascimento, Rodrigues, Koehler, Gepts,
                   & Veasey, 2013)

Table 2: Application of molecular markers to study
the genetic diversity and/or phylogeny of plants
from Ethiopia (adopted from Abraham, 2009).

Crops/plants             Marker type used

African wild rice        SSR
Anchote                  ISSR
Barley                   RFLP
Brassica carinata        RAPD
Coffee                   Sequence of part of chloroplast genome
Coffee                   RAPD, ISSR, AFLP, SSR
  (cultivated, forest)
Endod                    AFLP, RAPD
Enset                    AFLP, RAPD

Ethiopian lenti          Morphological and molecular
Guizotia spp.            ITS sequence
Guizotia spp.            AFLP; RAPD
  (weedy and wild)
Hagenia abyssinica       ISSR
Highland maize           AFLP
Linseed                  AFLP
Mustard                  AFLP
potato                   SSR
Sorghum                  AFLP, SSR, RAPD, ISSR

Sweet sorghum            SSR
Tef                      RFLP, AFLP, SSR, ISSR, EST-SSR, SNP

Wheat (tetraploid)       SSR, EST-SSR
Wild Sorghum             RAPD, ISSR

Yam                      AFLP

Crops/plants             Reference

African wild rice        Melaku et al., 2013
Anchote                  Bekele et al, 2014
Barley                   Demisse et al., 1998
Brassica carinata        Teklewold and Becker, 2006
Coffee                   Tesfaye et al., 2007
Coffee                   Aga et al., 2003, Aga et al., 2005,
  (cultivated, forest)   Silvestrini et al, 2007.
Endod                    Semagn, 2002
Enset                    Negash et al., 2002, Birmeta
                           et al., 2002
Ethiopian lenti          Fikiru et al., 2010
Guizotia spp.            Bekele et al., 2007
Guizotia spp.            Geleta et al., 2007
  (weedy and wild)
Hagenia abyssinica       Feyissa et al., 2007
Highland maize           Beyene et al., 2006
Linseed                  Wakjira et al., 2005
Mustard                  Genet et al., 2005
potato                   Abebe et al., 2004
Sorghum                  Geleta et al., 2006, Ayana et al.,
                         Tadesse & Feyissa, 2013
Sweet sorghum            Disasa et al., 2016
Tef                      Bai et al., 1999, Bai et al., 2000,
                           Yu et al.,
                         2006, Yu et al, 2007, Zhang et al.,
Wheat (tetraploid)       Yifru et al., 2006, Wang et al., 2007
Wild Sorghum             Ayana et al., 2000b; Teshome & Feyissa,
Yam                      Tamiru et al., 2007

AFLP, amplified fragment length polymorphism; RFLP, restriction
fragment length polymorphism; RAPD, Random amplified polymorphic
DNA; SSR, single sequence repeats; SNP, single nucleotide
polymorphism; EST, Expresses sequence tag; ISSR, Intersimple
sequence repeats; REP-PCR, repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR;
ITS, internal transcribed spacer.

Table 3: Explants source, main objectives and status of tissue
culture protocols developed for some of crops in Ethiopia.

Name                   Explants source          Main objective

Anchote                  Shoot tips,           Micropropagation
Banana                   Shoot tips,        Micropropagation, Virus
Black pepper              Shoot tip            Micropropagation
Brassica spp.              Anther             Double haploid line
Korarima             Rhizome lateral bud       Micropropagation

Cassava                   Meristem         Micropropagation, Factors
                                              affecting in vitro
                                              propagation, Virus
Citrus                      Seed            Micropropagation, virus
Coffee                      Leaf             Micropropagation, in
                                            vitro disease screening
                                              and somatic embryo
Enset                Shoot tip, zygotic    Micropropagation, disease
                            embryos        free, Callus culture and
                                             somatic embryogenesis
Garlic                    Meristem          Micropropagation, virus
Geranium                  Shoot tip            Micropropagation
Ginger               Rhizome lateral bud       Micropropagation
Grapevine                 Shoot tip            Micropropagation
Hagenia abyssinica   Shoot tip and leaf        Micropropagation
Niger                      Anther           In vitro regeneration,
                                              Double haploid line
Noug                       Anther             Embryogenic callus
                                                 induction and
pineapple              Shoot tip, Slip     Micropropagation, assess
                                               the potential of
                                              temporary immersion
                                               bioreactor (TIB)
Plectrantus edulis        Meristem             Micropropagation
  Ethiopian dinchj
potato                      Node            Micropropagation, virus
sweet potato          Shoot meristem,        Micropropagation, for
                      leaf and petiole     production of virus free
                                               planting material
wheat                unpollinated ovary    Regeneration of plantlets
Tef                    Floral part &          Double haploid line
                        embryo rescue        development & Somatic
                           cultures              embryogenesis
Yam                         Node               Micropropagation

Name                          Status

Anchote                      Completed
Banana                  Completed and being
                             scaled up
Black pepper            Ongoing and in good
Brassica spp.           progress completed

Korarima                     Completed

Cassava                      completed

Citrus                  Ongoing and in good
Coffee                  Completed and being
                            scaled up.

Enset                  completed and in good
                      progress for scaling up

Garlic                     Initial stage

Geranium                     Completed
Ginger                       Completed
Grapevine                    Completed
Hagenia abyssinica           Completed
Niger                  Completed and in good
                       progress for scale up

Noug                         Completed

pineapple               Completed and being
                             scaled up

Plectrantus edulis           Completed
  Ethiopian dinchj
potato                  Completed and being
                             scaled up
sweet potato                 Completed

wheat                        Completed
Tef                  Completed and scaling up
                         in good progress

Yam                     Completed and to be
                             scaled up

Name                         Reference

Anchote               Yambo and Feyissa, 2013
Banana               Dugassa and Feyissa, 2011

Black pepper
Brassica spp.           Abrha et al., 2014

Korarima              (Tefera & Wannakrairoj,
Cassava                Beyene et al., 2010;
                     Berhanu and Feyissa, 2013


Coffee                  Ahmed et al., 2013

Enset                  Negash et al., 2000;
                     Gezahegn and Mekbib, 2016


Ginger                  Disasa et al.,2011
Hagenia abyssinica     Feyissa et al., 2005
Niger                   Disasa et al., 2011

Noug                    Disasa et al., 2010

pineapple               Ayenew et al, 2013

Plectrantus edulis   (Tsegaw & Feyissa, 2014)
  Ethiopian dinchj

sweet potato           Getu & Feyissa, 2012;
                       Wondimu et al., 2012

wheat                  Getahun et al., 2013
Tef                    Getahun et al., 2012

Yam                   Dessalegn et al., 2015
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Author:Misganaw, Abebaw; Dessalegn, Obssi
Publication:Journal of Commercial Biotechnology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6ETHI
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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