, Volume 157, Issue 1–2, pp 59–68 | Cite as

Inheritance of ‘domestication’ traits in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.)

  • Shravani Basu
  • Sean Mayes
  • Michael Davey
  • Jeremy A. Roberts
  • Sayed N. Azam-Ali
  • Richard Mithen
  • Remy S. Pasquet


Controlled crosses in bambara groundnut were attempted between a range of thirty-six bambara groundnut landraces (thirty domesticated (V. subterranea var. subterranea) and six wild (V. subterranea var. spontanea)). Ten F1 seed were produced. Of these, eight germinated producing F2 populations. On seed set, four populations could be unambiguously confirmed as true crosses by F3 seed coat colour. A single F2 population, derived from a domesticated landrace from Botswana (DipC; female parent) crossed with a wild accession collected in Cameroon (VSSP11; male parent) was used to study a range of agronomic and domestication traits. These included; days to emergence, days to flowering, internode (fourth) length at harvest, number of stems per plant, leaf area, Specific Leaf Area (SLA), Carbon Isotope Discrimination (CID), 100 seed weight, testa colour and eye pattern around the hilum. On the basis of variation for internode length and stems per plant, 14 small F3 families were selected and grown under field conditions to further investigate the genetic basis of the ‘spreading’ versus ‘bunched’ plant character, a major difference between wild and cultivated bambara groundnut. Results presented suggest that traits including leaf area, SLA, CID and 100 seed weight are controlled by several genes. In contrast, the variation for traits such as internode length, stems per plant, days to emergence and seed eye pattern around the hilum are likely to be under largely monogenic control. The results of this work are discussed in relation to the domestication of bambara groundnut.


Bambara groundnut Domestication Landraces Plant breeding Trait inheritance Vigna subterranea 



The authors would like to acknowledge the provision of CID data from the individual F2 samples by Prof. M. S. Sheshshayee, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shravani Basu
    • 1
  • Sean Mayes
    • 1
  • Michael Davey
    • 1
  • Jeremy A. Roberts
    • 1
  • Sayed N. Azam-Ali
    • 1
  • Richard Mithen
    • 2
  • Remy S. Pasquet
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BiosciencesUniversity of NottinghamLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.Plant Food For Health ProtectionInstitute of Food ResearchNorwichUK
  3. 3.ICIPE - IRDNairobiKenya

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