Cytogenetic and pollen identification of genus Gagnepainia (Zingiberaceae) in Thailand

 Two species of the genus Gagnepainia K. Schumann (Zingiberaceae) was found in Thailand: G. godefroyi K. Schumann and G. harmandii K. Schumann. Both species have herbal properties used for treatment of wounds and inflammations, and also have the numerous attractive butterfly-like flowers. Thus, they have the potential to be developed as medicinal and attractive ornamental plants. To date, the knowledge on the cytological and reproductive aspects of Gagnepainia have not been publicly available. 

This study provided beneficial information on the cytological and reproductive aspects of both species as following. (1) Conventional technique with aceto-orcein staining gives the un-desirable results of an ambiguous contrast between chromosomes and cytoplasm in both G. godefroyi and G. harmandii. We successfully obtained meiotic figures of these plants by using chromosome-specific DAPI fluorochrome staining for clear demarcation of chromosomes. (2) The chromosome number 2n = 30 with the base number x = 15 of Gagnepainia is revealed here for the first time and recognized as the new number for the Ginger family. (3) The genome and pollen sizes in the present study can be used as the effective characteristics for species discrimination between G. godefroyi and G. harmandii. (4) Both species have the high potential to be developed as the commercial medicinal and ornamental pot plants through breeding and genetic improvement programs, such as polyploid induction. (5) the present cytogenetic study has provided not only informative characteristic for species discrimination, but also very useful assessment for plant fertility through in situ and ex situ conservation strategies, plant genetic resource management, and plant improvement programs. 

The results are a part of project “Genetic analysis of rare and threatened flowering plants in Thailand and the effect on pollination” which was supported by Center of Excellence on Biodiversity (CEB) and mainly conducted at Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University. Associated SDG goals are Zero Hunger (2) Quality Education (4) 

 

 Reference: 

“Cytogenetic and pollen identification of genus Gagnepainia (Zingiberaceae) in Thailand” Moonkaew, P.; Nopporncharoenkun, N.; Jenjittikul, T.; Umpunjun, P.* CompCytogen. 2020, 14(1):11-15