Morphological Variation and Interrelationship among Traits of African Walnut (Plukenetia Conophora Mull Arg.) Accessions from Nigeria
Plukenetia conophora is a woody climber with high demand for food, raw material, medicine and income generation but has not been improved upon. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of evaluating its variability and character association. Seven accessions sown directly into polythene bags filled with top soil were laid out in a completely randomized design in five replications. Data on height, collar diameter, number of leaves, leaf dry weight, stem dry weight, root dry weight, biomass and leaf area were subjected to Analysis of Variance and Principal component analysis. For most of the traits, there were significant differences among the accessions indicating variations among the accessions. The first three axes accounted for 79.5% of the overall variations. Clustering analysis grouped the seven accessions into three clusters. Members of cluster one which had the highest biomass and leaf area could serve as genes for parental lines that might be used in hybridization programs to improve this species. A positive significant correlation existed between leaf area and biomass as well as leaf dry weight. This therefore will facilitate the selection of promising phenotypes. This result will constitute a database for the improvement of Walnut.
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