American Journal of Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Science (AJAHS)
Phenotypic evaluation of cassava genotypes (Manihot esculenta) under moisture stress
(This article belongs to Vol - 02, Issue - 02)
Food security continues to be affected by global climatic changes which include increase in drought stress that reduces food availability to feed an ever growing population. One of the sustainable solutions is the development of crop cultivars that are tolerant to such stresses. Among food crops, cassava has a very high potential to mitigate hunger. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of 79 cassava (Manihot esculenta) varieties under drought stress. The parameters evaluated were storage root fresh weight (SRFW), number of storage roots (NSR), above ground weight (AGW), plant height (PH), harvest index (HI) and leaf retention (LR). Generally, water deficit suppressed cassava growth and productivity and this was observed by lower outputs obtained from most traits under water deficit treatment as compared to well-watered treatment. SRFW was used to select best performing varieties with the highest SRFW being observed in LML/2008/363 (26 kg). Results showed significant variations among the varieties for most of the traits. Under the stressed and non-stressed treatments, positive correlations were observed between SRFW and most traits. Genotypes; LML/2008/363, TZ-130, M96/7151, MM06/0013, I95/034095-N, MM98/1642, I92/0427 and 29B29 performed well for important drought traits (NSR,AGW,HI and LR) and these are recommended as gene sources for cassava improvement programs and farmers that target maximum productivity under stressful conditions.