Performance Of Cocoyam (Xanthosoma Sagagitifolium L) As Influenced By Petiole Bending
Petiole bending of cocoyam is a common practice among farmers in southern Nigeria, particularly when shorter arable crops are in the intercrop. An experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ibadan to determine the effects of petiole bending at different stages of cocoyam life cycle on growth and yield. The treatments consisted of petiole bending at 10, 12, 14 and 16 weeks after planting (WAP) and an unbent control. These were laid out in a randomized complete block design and replicated three times. Data were subjected to generalized linear model to generate analysis of variance. Results indicated that number of leaves, leaf area and leaf area index of cocoyam were significantly affected by petiole bending. The rate of leaf senescence was not significantly (p<0.05) different except at 19 WAP. Corm and cormel yields of cocoyam were depressed significantly (P<0.05) by as much as 15 and 29%, respectively, due to petiole bending. Furthermore, consistent cormel yield reduction was observed with increase in plant age at bending, suggesting that photosynthetic translocation to the sink (cormel) from the sources during tuberizatrion might have been impaired by the petiole bending process.
Keywords: Cocoyam, petiole bending, leaf number, leaf area, corm and cormel.
JOAFSS Vol. 4 (1) 2006: pp. 99-104