Biometrical Evaluation of Morphological Traits in Family Cucurbitaceae in Lafia, Nigeria

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Macauley Asim Ittah
Emmanuel H. Kwon-Ndung


Biometrical evaluation is a valuable tool for the study of biosystematics of plant taxa. This study assessed morphological variation and phenetic relationship in the Cucurbitaceae species in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Plant specimens were collected by simple random sampling across the municipality and 11 species were identified in the study area. Analysis of variance and multivariate analyses were used to determine the differences and identify variation among morphological characters among the species, respectively. Genetic similarity among the taxa was generated by single linkage algorithm of Bray-Curtis similarity index. Wide variations were observed in the morphological characters; Telfairia occidentalis had the longest pods (46.3 cm) and the longest vines (831.4 cm), while Cucumis sativus had the shortest vines (162.3 cm). All the species had multi-seeded pods; Lagenaria breviflora had 734.7 seeds, which was significantly more than the seeds in other species, Citrullus lanatus had 438.3 seeds and Momordica charantia had the fewest seeds (12.7) per pod. T. occidentalis had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) the heaviest seeds (89.8 g) of the species. Three major clusters were identified; Lagenaria abyssinica and L. rufa had similarity index of 0.9; Cucumeropsis mannii and Citrullus lanatus had index of 0.89. Principal component analysis established close relationship between T. occidentalis and L siceraria; then L. breviflora, Citrullus lanatus; Cucumeropsis mannii, Cucurbita pepo, Cucumis sativus, Lagenaria rufa and Lagenaria abyssinica, Luffa cylindrica and Momordica charantia, indicative of genetic similarity among the taxa. Closely related species are potential materials for interspecific hybridization and improvement of the family.

Cucurbitaceae, biometric evaluation, phenetic relationship, simple random sampling.

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How to Cite
Ittah, M., & Kwon-Ndung, E. (2019). Biometrical Evaluation of Morphological Traits in Family Cucurbitaceae in Lafia, Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, 19(2), 1-9.
Original Research Article


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