Research Article

Genetic Variability, Performance and Yield Potentials of Ten Varieties of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp) under Drought Stress  

Amos Afolarin Olajide , Christopher Olumuyiwa Ilori
Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
Legume Genomics and Genetics, 2017, Vol. 8, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/lgg.2017.08.0003
Received: 17 Nov., 2016    Accepted: 08 Dec., 2016    Published: 26 Jul., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Olajide A.A., Ilori O.C., 2017, Genetic variability, performance and yield potentials of ten varieties of cowpea (vigna unguiculata (l) walp) under drought stress, Legume Genomics and Genetics, 8(3): 17-25 (doi: 10.5376/lgg.2017.08.0003)


Food security is being threatening globally as a result of climate change and depletion of natural resources. Cowpea is one of the important crops that is needed to solve the world nutrition problem. Improvement for drought tolerance in cowpea can serve to mitigate the effect of drought stress resulted from climate change. Understanding the magnitude and type of genetic variability help the breeder to determine the selection criteria and breeding methods to be used for improvement purposes under drought stress. Ten cowpea genotypes were evaluated on the field during the dry season for two years in a RCBD (r=3) under well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) environments. Data were collected on both morpho-physiological and agronomic characteristics. There was significant varying degree of reduction across the parental lines evaluated for all the characters. With respect to number of pods per plant, the highest reduction (64.8%) was observed in IT99K-513-21 and the lowest (-211.7%) in IT89KD-288; for number of seeds per pods, the highest (51.4%) in IT99K-513-21, the lowest (-2.7%) in TVU7778; for 100-seed weight, the highest (50.0%) in IT97K-499 and the lowest (-1.3%) in IT93K-432-1 and for total seed weight, the highest (82.8%) in IT92KD-357-3 and the lowest (-20.8%) in Danilla. The phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variations were larger under WS than WW. Broad sense heritability estimates ranged between 12.3% in number of branches per plant to 99.0% for number of days to 50% ripe pods under WS. This genetic variability to drought stress provides opportunity for cowpea genetic improvement.

Genetic variability; Cowpea; Drought tolerance; Coefficient of variation
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