In Kenya two common species of Asclepias; Gomphocarpus physocarpa and Gomphocarpus fruticosus are commercially cultivated as cut flowers for their inflated green bolls. As a comparison, Gomphocarpus physocarpa has larger and more rounded ornamental seed bolls than Gomphocarpus fruticosus whose inflated seed bolls have sharp pointed end and are covered in short, stout hairs. These two species may be easily confused from each other. Unimproved commercial lines grown in Kenya are a mix of the two cultivars as the two species can easily hybridize. A study was carried out whose objective was to determine the extent of genetic diversity of Gomphocarpus in Kenya. The Gomphocarpus samples used in the study were collected both from the wild and commercial farms. Fourteen Gomphocarpus samples were collected from various areas in Kenya. All the SSR fragments obtained from gel electrophoresis in this experiment were easily recognizable under UV light. All the fourteen Gomphocarpus samples collected from different locations had SSR 650 bp. The SSR primers were monomorphic across all the Gomphocarpus samples indicating that there was no genetic variation among the Gomphocarpus collections used.
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