Characterization and preliminary evaluation of local germplasm of Telfairia occidentalis Hook F. accessions in Enugu, Nigeria
The variability among 18 accessions of Telfairia occidentalis were studied by examining their yield and yield component traits. The 18 accessions were collected from four local government areas in Enugu State, Nigeria. The experiment was performed in a randomized complete block design replicated three times. Ih-M accession gave the highest fruit circumference and average fruit weight that was significantly higher than Ih-L accession. Ib-S accession gave the highest total fruit weight and number of fruits per hectare. The PCA result showed that the first three principal components explained 86.91% of the total variation. The dendrogram grouped the fluted pumpkin accessions into three major clusters at similarity coefficient of 0.80. The cluster means showed that cluster I gave the highest number of days to first male anthesis and number of leaves per vine length of 40 cm. Cluster II gave the shortest number of days to male and female anthesis. It gave the highest total marketable leaf yield, number and length of the vine, width and length of the terminal leaflet. Cluster III gave the highest total and average fruit weights, number of fruits, fruit length and circumference, vine diameter, number of leaves per plant, fresh and dry leaf:vine ratio. The results indicated that the reproductive and yield traits assessed had significant contributions towards fluted pumpkin diversity. This information is vital for conservation of different genetic materials and initiation of improvement programme for T. occidentalis in Nigeria.
Keywords: accession, germplasm, principal component, Telfairia, yield