Welcome to the site of the Hyphaene Inventory Project!

This is the site of the project Hyphaene, one of the research activities undertaken by the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva towards the study of African palms. The information here presented aims to expand our current knowledge of the enigmatic genus of the widely known “Doum” palms, Hyphaene (7-8 species), which ranks among the most economically important, yet extremely poorly known African palm genera (Stauffer et al., 2014). The genus was monographed about 90 years ago, and our project aims to undertake modern taxonomic, morpho-anatomical, phylogenetic, ecological and conservation studies of the group. Our broad initiative on the study of African palm taxa is part of the 50 projects associated to the 2012-2016 African program of the University of Geneva. 

We are keen to receive your feed-back on the “Hyphaene World”!. All your photos, field information, etc. are most welcomed. Contact us

This Project is kindly supported by the A. Lombard (2015) Extraordinary Grant, awarded by the Société de Physique et d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève (SPHN)


Our molecular phylogenetic studies on Hyphaene are now starting in the laboratory of the Unité de Phylogénie et Génétique Moléculaires of the Conservatory and Botanic Gardens of Geneva. This work is carried out by Dr. Mathieu Perret, Dr. Yamama Naciri and Dr. Camille Christe, technically supported by Mrs. Regine Niba. The first 60 DNA samples include 6 species of Hyphaene represented by specimens from more than 12 African countries. The sister group Medemia and other taxa of Borasseae (i.e. Borassus, Bismarkia) and other Coryphoideae have been also included in these first analyses. More details on the NGS pipeline proposed can be obtained visiting our information on taxonomy and phylogenetics of the genus Hyphaene. What is next? construction of libraries during early october and ordering the baits, the latter could take some time. If things go smoothly, capture and sequencing may start early 2018.

Même pas peur! Camille Christe and Regine Niba will undertake most of the lab work associated to the project. The well-equipped laboratory at La Console is ready for the challenging Hyphaene NGS phylogenetic approach.

Extraction of DNA from some Hyphaene species for which the amount originally extracted was lower than necessary. The extraction room has all the necessary equipments and of course, the technical skills of Regine!.

Carefull manipulation of the specimens is necessary to extract the DNA. Althought it is straight forward, the protocol is long and requires of full concentration.

DNA extraction of the first 60 Hyphaene samples. It worked well although some fine-tuning is necessary. 



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