Morphological diversity in oleaginous watermelon (Citrullus mucosospermus) from the Nangui Abrogoua University germplasm collection
A hundred and seventy-one oleaginous watermelon accessions either collected from different countries or obtained from gene banks were evaluated and compared based on 11 quantitative morphological traits. Principal component analysis on 11 traits revealed 81.19% of the total variability and pointed out variations among accessions, mainly on the basis of fruit size and weight. The dendrogram and factorial discriminant analysis clustered the accessions in four groups. The multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant difference between the four groups and accessions of the group 2 had higher agronomic performances. The confusion matrix gave the details about accessions assignment and pointed out that breeders must have recourse to several multivariate analyses to have better agromorphological classification of accessions. The traits related to fruit size and weight were the most accession distinctive. Consequently, fruit morphological traits could be used for accession identification during collecting missions.
Key words: Citrullus mucosospermus, morphological characterization, multivariate analysis, oleaginous cucurbit.