Research Article

Characterisation of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) landraces grown in two climatic zones in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 34, issue 3, 2017, pages: 191–199
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2016.1266044
Author(s): Lindah L HluyakoDiscipline of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Alfred O OdindoDiscipline of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Paramu MafongoyaDiscipline of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Nkanyiso J SitholeDiscipline of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Lembe S MagwazaDiscipline of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa

Abstract

Pigeon pea is an important legume in arid and semi-arid areas of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Knowledge of adaptation characteristics of genotypes would significantly enhance its production in diverse environments of the region. Field experiments were conducted at two sites, namely Makhathini and Newlands Research Stations, both in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, to assess the variation in agronomic characteristics among six local landraces obtained from smallholder farmers. The six landraces were categorised based on seed coat colour according to farmers’ perception. Significant differences were observed among landraces with respect to plant height and time to 50% flowering, indicating phenotypic variability. The Light Brown-seeded landrace planted at Newlands flowered earlier (106 d after planting). The Dark Brown-seeded landrace flowered within 150 d at Makhathini and reached physiological maturity in 185 d, earlier than other landraces. The results of principal component analysis suggested that yield of the Light Brown-seeded landrace was associated with two important agronomic parameters, namely harvest index (HI) and pod mass. The Light Brown-seeded and Cream with Brown-seeded landraces were associated with desirable yield traits including grain yield, HI and pod mass and can, therefore, be recommended as suitable parental lines in crop improvement programmes to improve pigeon pea grain yield.

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