This study was conducted at Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, Regional Center for Africa ((AVRDC- RCA), Madiira Experimental Research Station in Arusha, Tanzania in 2005. The objective of the study was to document vegetative agromophological traits in the Ethiopian mustard lines held at AVRDC – RCA in order to identify lines with useful traits that can be used as genitors for active breeding; and to rationalize the conservation of this species. Forty-seven lines of Ethiopian mustard were characterized for vegetative agromophological traits. Significant differences (P ï‚£ 0.05) were observed in most quantitative traits with eighty eight percent of the accessions flowering after 84 days from sowing. Among the qualitative traits, great variation was seen in leaf number/plant, leaf bloom and leaf blade blistering. There was a strongly negative significant correlation between days to 50% flowering and plant height with tall plants flowering early. There was a positive non-significant correlation between days to 50% flowering and leaf dimensions. There was a significant negative correlation between days to 50% flowering and leaves per plant with plants with many leaves flowering early. There was a positive non-significant correlation between leaf dimensions and leaves per plant. Results from diversity dendrogram showed two main clusters with three sub-clusters showing intra-species diversity. These preliminary results indicate that there is a wide variation in Ethiopian mustard collection held at AVRDC-RCA based on vegetative agromorphological traits. Further work should consider agromorphological characterization at reproductive phase or molecular characterization in order to get a clearer picture of this diversity.
Key words: Ethiopian mustard, Brassica carinata, agromorphological characterization
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