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A biosystematic study of the genus Sutherlandia Br. R. (Fabaceae, Galegeae)

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. B-E. van Wyk ; Mrs. M. van der Bank en_US
dc.contributor.author Moshe, Dineo
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-16T07:26:07Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-16T07:26:07Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-16
dc.date.submitted 1998-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5900
dc.description M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.abstract A biosystematic study of the genus Sutherlandia (L.) R. Br., a poorly studied genus with confusing geographical variants, is presented. The species of Sutherlandia are all endemic to southern Africa. The species are very closely related and problems regarding their taxonomy are discussed. A few morphological characters that are useful in distinguishing amongst species are illustrated and discussed in detail. Morphological data are used to investigate infrageneric relationships in a phenetic analysis of 51 geographically separated populations. Sutherlandia has traditional medicinal uses, mainly as an anti-cancer treatment for internal cancers and as a general tonic. A survey of chemical compounds was done and the results are illustrated and presented in tables. The nature of this study did not allow detailed medical investigations, but the medicinal value of Sutherlandia and the compounds detected are highlighted. It is suggested that the anti-cancer activity can mainly be ascribed to the high levels of canavanine, a non-protein amino acid, in the leaves of the plant. Canavanine, an arginine analogue, is known for its antitumourigenic properties. The value of the plant as a bitter tonic is probably related to the presence of several triterpenoids, some of which may well also have other beneficial effects. Enzyme electrophoresis was done to explore genetic relationships amongst the numerous regional forms of Sutherlandia. A study of 19 populations showed that they are all closely related and that a more conservative treatment of the taxa is called for. As a result the number of taxa is reduced. A complete taxonomic revision of the genus is presented. The number of species is reduced from six to two, namely S. frutescens and S. tomentosa. The former is divided into three subspecies, namely subsp. frutescens, subsp. microphylla and subsp. speciosa. Some regional forms are described and illustrated, but these are not formally recognised as taxa. A key to the species, subspecies and regional forms is provided, and the. nomenclature, typification, description and geographical distribution for each of the taxa are given. The multidisciplinary approach of this study provided a better understanding of the morphological, chemical and genetic variation in this relatively poorly known but potentially valuable ornamental and medicinal plant. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Legumes -- Africa, Southern en_US
dc.subject Medicinal plants -- Africa, Southern en_US
dc.subject Galega -- Africa, Southern en_US
dc.title A biosystematic study of the genus Sutherlandia Br. R. (Fabaceae, Galegeae) en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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