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Biodiversity of cultivated Trigonella foenum-graecum L. in Tunisia, North Africa

Nidhal Marzougui, Hédia Hannachi, Anissa Boubaya, Ali Ferchichi, Salwa Rejeb

Laboratory of Development of Non-Conventional Waters in Agriculture, National Research Institute of Rural Engineering Waters and Forests, Ariana, Tunisia

Department of Biology, Unit of Research in Genetics of The Populations and Biological Resources, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia

Arid and Oasis Cropping Laboratory, Arid Lands Institute, Medenine, Tunisia

Key words: Trigonella foenum-graecum biodiversity, morphological parameters, minerals, vitamins, ISSR.


JCS-Trigonella-foenum-graecum-39416In agricultural systems, biodiversity includes diversity within species and among species and provides many benefits for production, resilience and conservation. This article aims to study the diversity of Trigonella foenum-graecum L., an annual herb of Leguminosae with a worldwide distributed culture, among thirty eight local populations collected from different Tunisian regions. The variability analysis was based on morphological characters, compositions of minerals in leaves and vitamins in seeds, and molecular profile. Morphological parameters consisted of vegetative and reproductive characters. Mineral analysis concerned sodium, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium leaves contents. The analyzed vitamins contents in seeds were B1, B9 and C vitamins and molecular study was carried out by ISSR technique. The structure of the studied populations was established by the principal compound analysis (PCA) and by the unweighted pair group method using arithmetic means (UPGMA). Both analyses based on the combination of morphological, chemical and biochemical parameters and on ISSR molecular study, presented a binary clustering of populations; but the one was different from the other. The combination of morphological, chemical and biochemical parameters allowed distinguishing the populations 2 and 4 of Menzel Temime, 11 of Mateur and 13 of Beja from the remaining populations. These four populations had the highest yields in biomass and seeds and, compared to the rest of populations, they were the best forages and seed producers. Molecular study showed that population 26 of Menzel Temime was genetically far away from the rest of studied fenugreek populations.

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