VILLAGE BAMBOOS REVISITED: COMPARING GENETIC DIVERSITY OF <em>BAMBUSA</em> <em>VULGARIS</em> ‘STRIATA’ AND <em>THYRSOCALAMUS</em> <em>LIANG</em> WITH <em>GIGANTOCHLOA</em> <em>SCORTECHINII</em> AS A FOREST BAMBOO
Keywords:Ancient Enduring Clones (AECs), genetic uniformity, hybridisation, ISSR profiles, introgression
The tropical woody bamboos are culturally and economically important in many Asian countries. The bamboos that have been grown or cultivated are regarded as village bamboos, contrary to the forest bamboos that grow in the wild. However, very little is known about the history of bamboo cultivation or
domestication. The fact that the cultivated bamboos are usually vegetatively propagated and less fertile has led to the postulation that forest bamboos possess a greater genetic diversity than village bamboos. Using an Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR) profiling approach, this study assessed the genetic diversity of the village bamboos, as represented by Bambusa vulgaris ‘Striata’ and ×Thyrsocalamus liang, as compared to that of the forest bamboos. The results showed an extremely low genetic diversity in B. vulgaris ‘Striata’ and
×T. liang. We suggest sterility of the village bamboos is one of the possible explanations for the intra-specific genetic diversity. On the other hand, high diversity in Gigantochloa scortechinii, a forest bamboo, is driven by its
outcrossing nature. We discussed the implications of our results for genetic stock conservation in agriculture and the bamboo industries.