Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millspaugh) is a neglected and under-utilized crop consumed in several regions of word. In order to assess performance of pigeonpea landraces grown in Benin for useful breeding programs, 50 accessions were collected from 39 villages. These accessions were characterized by using 12 qualitative and 11 quantitative traits. Based on the seeds morphological characteristics, the 50 accessions were grouped in 12 morphotypes. However, 8 morphological classes were obtained with cluster analysis based on the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic average method using qualitative traits, whereas in principal component analysis only 5 clusters have been obtained using quantitative traits. The association/correlation among quantitative characters showed that grain yield was negatively correlated with pod width, days to 50% flowering and physiological maturity while it was positively correlated with pod length, pods per plant, branches per plant and number of seeds per pod. Based on four quantitative traits (number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, 100 seed weight, and early maturity), the 23 accessions from cluster 3 of whom kk5 (Ekloui), kk8 (Nontchiovi kloui), kk15 (Otili founfoun), kk18 (Klouékoun wéwé), kk22 (Otili), kk23 (CA monlikoun) and kk28 (Hounkoun wéwé) have been recommended as good sources of germplasm for improving the pigeonpea productivity. Further characterization using molecular techniques as well as conservation attention should be conducted to confirm the present result and maintain the germplasm for future breeding programs.
Keywords: Benin, Cluster analysis, morphological diversity, pigeonpea, quantitative characters, selection.
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