Moringa oleifera is a fruit species of economic interest to West African smallholder growers. To generate beneï¬ts to poor rural communities, improved knowledge is needed on plantation management and selection of the most reliable seed sources. The aim of the study was to investigate variation in seed traits and germination rates among 12 provenances of M. oleifera from West Africa in the women gardening center named “Amicale des Forestières du Burkina Faso (AMIFOB)” located at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (12°7’32’’N, 01°40’24’’W). The authors conducted an analysis of variance, a principal component analysis on seed traits variables (length, thickness and weight) and germination rates at 5 and 12 days after seed sowing, and finally ascending hierarchical classification based on similarity indices. The results showed significant variations (P<0.05) among provenances in seed traits: Ouahigouya provenance in the Sahelian area of Burkina Faso had the largest and heaviest seeds. Germination rate was significantly different after 5 days for Ouahigouya, Ouagadougou, Koudougou, Dano and Tamale provenances (P<0.05). Five days after seed sowing, the Sahelian provenance (Ouahigouya) recorded the greatest and fastest germination rate of 63%. Correlation analyses revealed no significant links between germination rate in 5 and 12 days after sowing and seed sizes. Seed traits and germination rates did not show clear cut distinct groups between Sahelian, Sudanian and sub Equatorial provenances. This research output provides an evidence of the genetic variability among M. oleifera provenances and hence the potential for future tree improvement programme.
Key words: Seed variability, agroclimatic zone, Burkina Faso.
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