New original article on plant genetic resourcesPosted on 2022-09-07
African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum L.) is an important but underutilized leafy and fruit vegetable. Systematic characterization of available eggplant accessions for morphological and nutritional traits is paramount to their genetic improvement. This study characterized the diversity among selected S. aethiopicum accessions from Nigeria to identify promising genotypes for future breeding activities in the region. Twenty new purified African eggplant accessions collected from farmers’ fields were characterized using morphological and nutritional descriptors. The accessions varied significantly in qualitative, quantitative and nutritional parameters. Top performers for selected yield-contributing traits and nutritional parameters were NHEPA54, NHEPA39-1, NHEAP10, NHEPA10, NHEPA1, NHEPA56, NHEPA23 for vitamin C, iron, calcium, days to flowering, number of branches, plant height at maturity and number of fruits per plant respectively. The first four principal components accounted for 72.42% of total variability. The first principal component with the largest variation (28.77%) was loaded with number of branches, plant height at maturity, number of fruits per cluster, number of fruits per plant and fruit width. A significant positive association was exhibited between iron and yield-increasing traits such as number of fruits per plant (r = 0.532) and number of fruits per cluster (r = 0.551). Plant height at maturity positively correlated with vitamin C (r = 0.492) indicating predictable success in selecting top-performing eggplant genotypes combining high-yield potential and nutritional content. Top-performing eggplant genotypes identified in this study could be deployed as donors for a hybridization programme to develop new eggplant varieties with higher yield potential and improved nutritional quality.
Read the paper at https://doi.org/10.46265/genresj.WCZG9712