African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6839

Full Length Research Paper

Agromorphological characterization of Sesamum radiatum (Schum. and Thonn.), a neglected and underutilized species of traditional leafy vegetable of great importance in Benin

Adéoti K.1, Dansi A.2,3*, Ahoton L.4, Vodouhè R.5, Ahohuendo B. C.4, Rival A.6 and Sanni A.1
  1Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FAST), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 2Laboratory of Agricultural Biodiversity and Tropical Plant Breeding, Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FAST), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), 071BP28, Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 3Crop, Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Biodiversity Research and Development Institute (IRDCAM), 071 BP 28, Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 4Department of Plant Production, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (FSA), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), BP 526 Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 5Bioversity International, Office of West and Central Africa, 08 BP 0931, Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 6Cirad-BioS, UMR DIAPC, Centre IRD. F-34394 Montpellier Cedex5, France.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 May 2012
  •  Published: 26 June 2012



Sesamum radiatum (Schum. and Thonn) is a traditional leafy vegetable of national importance in Benin. Although, it is cultivated and consumed in many regions of the country, it is still unfortunately neglected by scientific research. In order to fill in the knowledge gaps necessary for its varietal improvement, 16 accessions collected from different agro-ecological zones were characterized using 16 quantitative morphological traits. A significant variability was found among the accessions. Day to flowering, day to fruiting, total biomass, plant height, noose diameter, number of fruits per plant and number of seeds per fruit were some of the most discriminating parameters. Multivariate analysis (principal component analysis and cluster analysis) revealed four distinct agro-morphological groups of varying performance which will be highly useful in varietal improvement. Correlation analyses between descriptors revealed uniquely desired positive and negative relationships hence, indicating predictable success for eventual breeding program. To further investigate the genetic basis of the phenotypic diversity revealed among S. radiatum accessions, the use of molecular markers such as amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) is recommended.


Key words: Benin, Sesamum radiatum, diversity, morphological characterization, leafy vegetable.