Reproductive biology and characterization of Allanblackia parviflora A. Chev. in Ghana
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Allanblackia parviflora A. Chev. (Clusiaceae Lindley) is an indigenous tree species which is found in the rain forest regions of Ghana. It is a potential candidate fruit tree species being introduced in agroforestry systems. Information on genetic diversity, reproductive biology and fruit yield are not known. Field expeditions to seven populations of Allanblackia parviflora in Ghana were undertaken in 2003–2006 during which fruits were collected from 109 trees for characterization. The species was found to be dioecious. The colour of flowers varied from whitish to reddish. No ecological differences in number of fruits per tree, fruit shape and seed health were observed. However, large variations in fruit size and shape were observed among individual trees sampled. A high heritability (h 2 = 0.822) in fruit size and genetic gain (G = 20.1%) in fruit size for selection of trees with above average fruit size were observed. A positive significant correlation was observed between fruit size and seed weight (R = 0.54, P < 0.05; Fig. 6). The results suggest that selection and cloning of trees with large fruits could lead to higher yield of seeds for oil production.
KeywordsAllanblackia parviflora Characterization Domestication Flowering Fruiting Genetic variation
We thank Unilever International and MARS for supporting this study financially. We are also grateful to the staff of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, World Agroforestry Centre, Novel Development-Ghana and International Tree Seed Centre for their assistance and encouragement. Support provided by our field guides and farmers from whose farms samples were collected is also acknowledged.
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