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The taxonomic status of Musanga cecropioides R.Br.
and Myrianthus arboreus P.Beauv.
has been problematic.
In this study, morphological, anatomical, phytochemical, phytogeographical, DNA and Numerical taxonomic analyses were carried out on Musanga cecropioides and Myrianthus arboreus with a view to classifying these species appropriately.
The anatomy of leaf and petiole showed the presence of non glandular trichomes, well arranged C₃ vascular bundles in the petiole and midrib of the leaves of both species.
Flavonols and glycoflavones were isolated from the leaves of both species.
Musanga cecropioides and Myrianthus arboreus are sympatric in most of their range of distribution.
The values obtained from the spectrophotometric reading of the DNA extracted from the leaves of both species were 1.56 and 1.19 respectively.
Numerical taxonomic analysis of 56 characters, obtained from M.
cecropioides and five species of Myrianthus, was carried out by calculating similarity and distance indices followed by cluster analysis and construction of a dendrogram for visual appreciation of the taxonomic relationship among these species.
Arusuraire, MSc, MNIM, AEP-NREP: Studied Plant Sc.
& Biotechnology at University of Port Harcourt.
Researcher at World Bank African Centre of Excellence, University of Port Harcourt.
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