Nadjat Azizi, Rachid Amirouche, Nabila Amirouche
Department of Biology and Physiology of Organims, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), PO box 32, El-Alia, Bab Ezzouar, 16110, Algiers, Algeria.
Introduction: The Hyacinthaceae family is a large group of attractive petaloid species which synthesize specialized metabolites involved in their pharmacological usefulness. In Algeria, bulbous plants have long been one of the most trusted sources of traditional medicines. The aim of this work is to highlight the significance of systematic and karyological data to evaluate the diversity of species used in traditional pharmacopeia, particularly those endemics or isolated populations which can produce adapted chemotypes. Materials and Methods: Analyses were performed on natural populations of four endemic and rare Hyacinthaceae, Battandiera amoena, Drimia noctiflora, D. fugax and D. undata sampled in contrasted biogeographic areas of Algeria, in coastal hills and in the Saharan border. Chromosomes number, karyotype formulas and asymmetry indices were established for all taxa. Results: The three species of the genus Drimia were diploid with 2n=2x=20 chromosomes. In Battandiera amoena chromosome number is 2n=2x=18. Karyotype analyses reveal marked variation in length and chromosomes morphology and in the chromosomal asymmetry indices. Conclusion: Cytotaxonomical data are discussed in relation to the endemism and the biogeographical distribution of the species and in the context of the conservation of the biodiversity in Algeria.
Key words: Biodiversity, Battandiera, Drimia, Karyotype, Endemic medicinal plants.