Evaluation of Sixteen Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Genotypes in Derived Savannah Environment Using Path Coefficient Analysis
Keywords:characterization; correlation; cucumber; fruit yield; seasonal effects; savannah; agro-ecological zone
Sixteen exotic and indigenous cucumber genotypes (Cucumis sativus L.) were evaluated under early and late seasons planting. This was to characterize the cucumber genotypes based on their performance in the derived savannah of Southeast Nigeria agro-ecological zone and estimate character association and contribution towards total fruit yield per hectare. The vegetative traits, such as vine length, number of branches, number of leaves and leaf area were measured at 8 weeks after planting. The phonological traits measured were: days to flower initiation and days to 50% flowering. The reproductive traits like number of staminate flowers per plant, number of pistillate flowers per plant, fruit length, fruit girth, fruit weight per plant, number of fruits per plant, average fruit weight and total fruit yield per hectare were also recorded. Obtained data was subjected to analysis of variance in randomized complete block design and path analysis. The results showed a highly significant difference (p<0.01) among the genotypes in all the traits studied in both seasons. ‘Beit Alpha’ genotype gave the highest fruit yield/ha in early season planting, while in the late season, the highest yield producer was ‘Ashely’. In both seasons, vine length, number of branches and leaves, leaf area, number of pistillate and staminate flowers/plant, number of fruit and fruit weight/plant showed positive and significant correlation with total fruit yield/ha. In both seasons, the highest positive direct effect on yield was recorded in fruit weight/plant. Significantly (p<0.05), the highest total fruit yield/ha was recorded in the early rainy season planting in this agro ecological zone. Based on high fruit yield, ‘Beit Alpha’ genotype for early season planting and ‘Ashley’ genotype for late season are recommended for cultivation in the Derived Savannah, Southeast Nigeria agro ecological zone.
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