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Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 558 - 563

Comparative Study of Vegetative Morphology and the Existing Taxonomic Status of Aloe vera L.

B.O. Akinyele and A.C. Odiyi    

Abstract: Comparative study of the vegetative characters was carried out on representative samples of different populations of Aloe vera L. Plant samples collected from different locations in Nigeria were separated into four morphologically recognizable groups and brought into cultivation in the screen house of the Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. After six months of cultivation, 10 suckers of each morphological group were carefully removed and transplanted into plastic containers already filled with humus soil such that there was only one sucker in each container. The experimental design adopted is the Completely Randomized Design (CRD). New suckers produced were promptly and carefully removed from time to time, leaving only the parent plant in each container. Five years after transplanting, leaf length, leaf width, leaf thickness, stem length and stem thickness were measured using a tape graduated in millimeters and centimeters. Number of leaves per plant and number of roots per plant were counted. Mottle frequency and spine frequency were also determined. Mean values for each morphological group were calculated from five randomly selected specimens. Data collected were subjected to Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means separated using the Duncan=s multiple range test. Result shows that the groups are separated into four different taxa, each group occupying a taxon of its own. This finding is at variance with the existing taxonomy of Aloe and therefore, suggests further investigations, particularly in the areas of chromosome behaviour and anatomy, with a view to reappraising the existing taxonomic status of Aloe vera.

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