Implications of polyembryony on the growth and yield of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis hook. f.)
Two experiments were conducted during the wet seasons of 2004 and 2005 to investigate the performance of polyembryonic lines with respect to growth and yield of fluted pumpkin. The results revealed three morphotypes of polyembryony, namely: twin (bi-embryony), triple (tri-embryony) and quadruple (tetra-embryony). In the first year (2004), the triple and quadruple embryo types had the highest (54.52%) and lowest (2.02%) frequencies of occurrence, respectively. In the second year (2005), the frequencies of the triple and quadruple embryo types were 60.99% and 4.78%, respectively. There was no clear trend across all the embryo types investigated with respect to the characters measured. However, generally, the triple and the single (mono-embryony) lines performed better than the twin and quadruple lines. The impressive performance of the single and triple embryo types over the twin and quadruple embryo types with respect to the weight of pods, in 2004 and 2005 suggests that these embryo types are good candidates multiplication and distribution to farmers using the micropropagation technique.
Key words: Polyembryony, growth, yield, fluted pumpkin, Telfairia occidentalis.