African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 722

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of benzyladenine (BA) on fruit set and mineral nutrition of morula (Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra)

O. G. Moatshe*, V. E. Emongor and O. Oagile
Crop Science and Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Botswana, Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 February 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011


A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of benzyladenine (BA) on fruit set and mineral nutrition of morula (Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra). Benzyladenine was applied when the fruitlets were 8 to 10 mm in diameter at concentrations of 0, 50, 100 or 150 mg/l. Application of BA to morula fruit trees significantly (p < 0.001) reduced fruit set of morula trees by between 48 to 67%. Morula tree sprayed with BA had significantly higher leaf and fruit mineral content than control trees. The fruit calcium (Ca) (p < 0.05), magnesium (Mg) (p < 0.05), nitrogen (N) (p < 0.01) and potassium (K) (p < 0.001) increased significantly with increasing BA concentrations. The results showed that BA can be used as a chemical agent to reduce crop load and improve the morula tree mineral uptake and mineral partitioning to the leaves and fruits.


Key words: Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra, benzyladenine, fruit set, mineral content.