Morphological Characterization of Okra (Abelmoschus sp. L.) Germplasm in Ghana

Morphological Characterization of Okra (Abelmoschus sp. L.) Germplasm in Ghana

Twenty five accessions of okra collected in Ghana were evaluated for phenotypic identity, diversity and quality based on morphological characters. Qualitative and quantitative characteristics were measured and scored as specified by the standard international crop descriptor for okra. A dendrogram was generated for morphological data based on the simple matching coefficient, and four cluster groups were observed. The distribution of the accessions into the groups, based on the morphological traits had no unique geographical relationship. The results of the matrix of similarity among the 25 accessions performed by NTsys pc programme placed two accessions in a tie, suggesting that, they were identical. Eight accessions were placed at above 80% similarity, meaning that, the accession pairs were closely related, and three accessions were 50% similar, which means they matched at half the characters measured. Six pairs of accessions measured were somewhat diverse, which can be exploited by plant breeders for further improvement. The genetic affinity between the accessions from different regions and ethnic groups could however be due to the selection and exchange of okra between farmers from different regions and ethnic groups. Distinct morphotypes exist in the Ghanaian okra germplasm, depicted by variation in petal colour, pubescence of the leaf and stem, fruit shape, anthocyanin pigmentation and number of days to 50% flowering.

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