Bambara groundnut is a reliable source of carbohydrates and protein in rainforest agroecology, but limited research had been done and few varieties commercialised. The magnitude of phenotypic variability, character association, and contribution of characters to seed yield were investigated among 50 accessions received from IITA, Nigeria. Field evaluation took place during the 2017 – 18 cropping seasons. The accessions were allocated to experimental plots using a Randomised Complete Block Design with three replicates. Data were collected on phenological, agronomic, and seed yield characters. The main effect showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences for phenological, vegetative, and reproductive characters. The year effect influenced agronomic and seed yield characters while accessions by year interaction were insignificant for all characters. The stepwise discriminant analysis identified three redundant characters. The leaflet length and width, canopy spread, leaf/plant, seeds/plant, and seed weight showed high discriminatory ability and are efficient for morphological characterisation and conservation. Hybridisation between accessions dispersed in quadrants 1, 2, and 4 may evolve early and medium maturity types with improved seed yield and biomass. The number of seeds/plant and pods/plant are indices for seed yield. The contribution of pods/plant to seed yield was masked by canopy spread, peduncle length, and pod width indicating competition for photo-assimilates. TVSu 17, TVSu 277, TVSu 271, and TVSu 278 are donor parents for earliness. TVSu 261 performed best for seed yield and yield component characters. Hybridisation among TVSu 261, TVSu 587, TVSu 275, and TVSu 17 will evolve medium maturing and high seed-yielding varieties for further evaluation.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science