acta satech Journal of the Life & Physical Sciences Babcock

Evaluation of Wild, Weedy and Cultivated Landrace Varieties of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) for Morphological and Agronomic Characteristics
Nwangburuka Cyril
Department of Agriculture, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria.
Received November 3rd 2003, revised version received February 11th, 2004, accepted February 18th, 2004

ABSTRACT
Evaluation of the variations in morphological and agronomic characteristics of wild, weedy, landrace and improved cultivars of cowpea were carried out in pot and field experiments using eleven cowpea lines. There were significant differences among the cowpea lines for all the characters studied in both the field and pot experiments. Variation was observed in morphological traits such as plant height, number of branching, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, pod length, days from planting to flowering, days from flowering to first ripe pod, and 100 seed weight per plant. The weedy varieties flowered earliest than all the other lines while the wild varieties had the highest mean number of days from planting to flowering and to first ripe pod. Two landrace varieties had longer pods and more seeds per pod than other lines. Number of pods per peduncle correlated significantly and positively with number of pods per plant in both experiments while days from planting to first flowering also correlated significantly and positively with the plant height in both experiments and with pod length in the pot experiment. There was positive correlation between number of days from planting to flowering and 100 seed weight in both experiments and with total seed weight per plant, and pod length in the pot experiment. Qualitative agronomic characters such as shape of pod, seed coat colour and flower colour also exhibited sharply contrasting differences among the various lines. The study showed that desirable characteristics that could be transferred to cultivated varieties are present in wild, weedy and landrace varieties.
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