Domestication of Dacryodes edulis: 1. Phenotypic variation of fruit traits from 100 trees in southeast Nigeria

Anegbeh, P.O., Ukafor, V., Usoro, C., Tchoundjeu, Z., Leakey, R.R.B., and Schreckenberg, K. (2005) Domestication of Dacryodes edulis: 1. Phenotypic variation of fruit traits from 100 trees in southeast Nigeria. New Forests, 29 (2). pp. 149-160.

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Abstract

A participatory approach to tree domestication is being pioneered by ICRAF and international partners in Cameroon and Nigeria. The domestication of Dacryodes edulis offers opportunities to improve the livelihoods of subsistence farmers and to diversify farming systems, such as cocoa farms. The trees produce marketable fruits as well as shade for cocoa and coffee. Twenty-four ripe fruits were collected from each of 100 D. edulis trees in Mgbuisi, southeast Nigeria by subsistence farmers. There was continuous and significant tree-to-tree variation in fruit mass (10.2±0.5–71.4±1.3 g), flesh mass (6.8±0.3– 62.2±1.2 g) and kernel mass (1.3±0.5–15.1±0.4 g). Mean fruit mass did not differ significantly between different land uses. Flesh mass:kernel mass ratio varied from 0.79 to 29.0. Two trees had fruits without kernels. There was also continuous and significant tree-to-tree variation in fruit length (39.0±0.6– 95.1±1.2 mm), fruit width (21.82±0.16–43.75±0.33 mm) and flesh thickness (1.82±0.1–6.39± 0.1 mm). Fruit length:width ratio varied from 1.35 to 3.18. Cooked fruits varied in taste with only 14% of trees getting the highest score. Similarly, fruits varied in oiliness with only 3% of trees getting the highest score. Thirteen skin colours were recorded, with the most common being dark blue (31%), greyish violet (29%) and deep blue (9%). Ninety-nine percent of the trees had been planted, with 57% in homegardens, 22% in crop fields, 17% in fallow land and 4% in cocoa. Tree height ranged from 4 to 22m, and DBH from 9.55 to 63.65 cm. Tree age ranged from 5 to 64 years. Farmers reported first fruiting from age 3 up to 22 years (average of 9.4 years). Most trees originated from seeds bought in markets (63%). Market prices of fruits from different trees, ranged from 2 to 12 fruits for 10 Naira (US0.07). These quantitative results will help in the identification of elite trees of D. edulis for cultivar development through clonal propagation.

Item ID: 6959
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: African pear; African plum; agroforestry; Dacryodes edulis; domestication; indigenous fruits; West Africa; safou; variation descriptors; non-timber forest products; intraspecific genetic diversity
ISSN: 1573-5095
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2010 00:31
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079999 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070501 Agroforestry @ 40%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820214 Tropical Fruit @ 80%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8201 Forestry > 820103 Integration of Farm and Forestry @ 20%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 6
Downloads: Total: 3
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