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Horticultural characterization of AVRDC moringa germplasm in the Philippines and Taiwan
(International Society for Horticultural Science, 2015-12-06)
The major objective of this study was to evaluate a subset of the AVRDC Moringa oleifera germplasm collection for important horticultural traits in the Philippines and Taiwan. The 18 AVRDC moringa accessions originated from India, Laos, Philippines, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand and USA. Three-month-old seedlings were transplanted onto single-row raised beds spaced 1.5 m apart. Plants were arranged in a randomized block design with three replications. Data were collected on plant height, stem diameter, number of branches, canopy width, fresh and dry biomass (stems and leaves), days to flowering, and pod/seed yield. In Taiwan, one month after transplanting four accessions attained a plant height of above 1 m. Number of side branches ranged from 9 to 14 per plant. Differences in plant height and stem diameter were significant at 70 days after transplanting (DAT). Tallest plants (2.9 m) were observed in LSQUOMo-35RSQUO from Tanzania while LSQUOMo-8RSQUO from Thailand produced the largest stem diameter (36 cm). Leaf fresh weight and dry biomass was highest (15.8 and 9.2 t ha<sup>-1</sup>, respectively) for LSQUOMo-35RSQUO at 70 DAT. Survival and stand count decreased after two strong typhoons and severe flooding in 2009 and 2010. In the Philippines, accessions LSQUOMo-2RSQUO (USA) and LSQUOMo-40RSQUO (India) produced the tallest plants 28 weeks after second pruning. Mean stem diameter ranged from 3.5 cm (LSQUOMo-34RSQUO) to 8.5 cm (LSQUOMo-4RSQUO). LSQUOMo-38RSQUO (Thailand) produced the highest number of branches. Two accessions from Thailand (LSQUOMo-4RSQUO and LSQUOMo-14RSQUO) resulted in the highest leaf fresh weight, which exceeded 20 t ha<sup>-1</sup> from two prunings, while LSQUOMo-29RSQUO (India) produced the highest dry leaf biomass. Most accessions tolerated waterlogged conditions with 60-100% plant survival stand count. The results indicate that there are moringa accessions with promising horticultural traits for the high rainfall climate of Southeast Asia....