Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2019)
Seedling stage variability studies among Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr. (Sweet dattock) as revealed by measurable morphological parameters
Author(s): Ajani MO, Agboola FO, Okeleke SO
Abstract: The research work on seedling variability studies among Detarium microcarpum Guill & Perr was conducted to assess the variation among the mentioned species as a stage towards domestication in breeding programme. The seeds used for the research were collected from four locations in the Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria; New Bussa, (GNbs); Mokwa, (GMkw); Zugruma, (GZug) and Guffanti, (GGug). The research was carried-out in the nursery of Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Nigeria and laid in Completely Randomized Design. Silvicultural activities were performed on the experimental units from seed extraction, cleaning, viability test, sowing at uniform depth, weeding by hand-picking, watering to data collection. Data were collected before sowing on fruits and seeds weight and diameters using electronic scale and graduated ruler respectively. In fruit weight, Zugruma genotype recorded the highest value of 1.17g followed by Mokwa genotype with 1.09g while genotype of Guffanti origin had the least value of 0.67g. On germination percentage, all the genotypes are significantly unrelated with GMkw having the highest mean germination count of 100.67±0.33 followed by GGuf and GNbs with 98.57±1.38 and 95.71±0.74. GNbs has the highest value in height with 15.50±0.31 and significantly related to GMkw of the least value of 12.99±0.01 and of not significant relation to GGuf and GZug which are not also significantly related to one another. Stem girth record showed that there is significant relationship between GMkw and GZug with GMkw having the greater value of 0.26±0.01 but lowest value of 12.99±0.01 in plant height which indicates that plant height is inversely proportional to stem girth. It was then concluded that all the genotypes considered at seedling stage were significantly different from one another showing that there is great measurable variability as revealed by all quantitative morphological characters used among the genotypes of Detarium microcarpum considered. And that in breeding programme for domestication of this valuable forest species, parent stocks should be collected from the areas of collection for this research. Also concluded is that further research should be carried-out on the species on early life after planting-out, and all other phenological stages in order to have complete phenological document on the species.