Evaluation of morpho-agronomic variability of wild and cultivated kola (Cola species Schott et Endl.) in South Western Nigeria
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Plant Breeding Group, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, PMB 5244, Ibadan, Nigeria; Plant Science Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
As part of a breeding programme, exploration and systematic selection exercise of kola (Cola spp.) was carried out in Nigeria from the large number of kola populations in the country based mainly on yield and various nut characteristics. The exercise gave rise to a collection of many accessions of the genus including five wild species that are currently being maintained in field genebanks of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Gambari experimental station, Idi-Ayunre, Ibadan. In order to fully exploit the variability in these plants for genetic improvement, the plants were characterized and their morphological variability described. A list of descriptors, developed by International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) for Avocado, with modifications was employed recording 60 descriptors consisting of 33 qualitative and 27 quantitative characters. The characterization data revealed enormous morphological variability among the plants studied and have strong bearing on the taxonomy of the groups. The result also confirmed that the wild species of Cola form a special group with enormous agronomic traits that are yet to be exploited in kola breeding. Wild species identified with high nut and pod numbers, thick indehiscent pods and fruit size uniformity is recommended for use in interspecific hybridization programme. © Springer 2006.
agronomy; breeding; cultivation; perennial plant; plant community; Africa; Nigeria; Sub-Saharan Africa; West Africa; Cola; Cola acuminata; Persea americana; Theobroma cacao