Sustainable management of Borassus aethiopum Mart. genetic resources in West Africa: phylogeography, genetic diversity and conservation gap.
Through its multiple food and non-food uses, the African fan palm Borassus aethiopum Mart. represents a significant resource for rural population Western Africa. However, the anthropic pressure exerted over individuals from both sexes (males for construction wood, females for fruits and hypocotyls) and the lack of knowledge regarding the reproductive development represent serious threats against the preservation of this species.
The GenPhyB (Borassus genetics and and phylogeography) project sets out to caracterize the genetic diversity of fan palm populations and thus, aims to contribute to the sustainable management of phytogenetic resources. In a first phase, the evolutive history of the Borassus genus will be studied through a phylogeographic approach, then the genetic diversity of B. aethiopum populations will be assessed throughout several of the Western African countries where the species is present. The comparison of species diversity between unprotected and protected areas will allow us to evaluate how efficient the latter are.
As a complement to this project, the characterization of the reproductive development and the identification of early sexualization markers might lead to a more rationalized exploitation of this resource.
A. Zouri-Kifouli Adéoti (Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Cotonou, Benin)
Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Bénin: Valère K. Salako, Mariano Kpatenon (PhD fellow; joint supervision UM/UAC 2018-2021).
Laboratoire de Biologie et Ecologie Végétales, Université Ouaga I Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso: A. Ouédraogo.
UMR DIADE (IRD, UM), Montpellier, France: Dynadiv (T. Couvreur), F2F (T. Beulé, E. Jaligot; F. Aberlenc) teams.
UMR AGAP (CIRAD, INRA, INRIA, UM, Montpellier SupAgro), Montpellier, France: S. Santoni.
The GenPhyB project is funded through the Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable (SEP2D) programme under ID n° AAP3-64. Several of the scientific visits it includes are funded under the MooSciTIC capacity building project (Agropolis Fondation n°1501-011).
Mariano Kpatenon is supported through a PhD fellowship awarded by the Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle (SCAC) of the French Embassy in Benin.