African Journal of Agricultural Research
Vol.8(26) , pp. 3444-3453 , July 2013
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Full Length Research Paper
Variability studies and identification of high yielding plus trees of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) in Tamil Nadu
Thondaiman Velayutham1*, K. Rajamani1, N. Shoba1, A. John Joel2 and N. Senthil3
1Department of Spices and Plantation Crops, TNAU, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
2Department of Plant Genetic Resources, TNAU, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
3Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, TNAU, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Accepted: 09 July 2013 Published: 11 July 2013
One hundred and fifty one (151) cocoa trees in the farmers’ field of Tamil Nadu were assessed for their variability and yield performance. Ten year old trees in five different plantations of Tamil Nadu were observed for their morphological, pod, bean and yield characters. Variability among the tree, pod, bean and yield trait characters were also studied for all the trees selected. Plus trees or promising mother trees were identified from the trees having the following traits: Dry bean yield per tree (> 2.4 kg), number of pods per tree (60), number of beans per pod (> 35) and single dry bean weight (> 1 g). In this analysis, the trees which had necessary economic traits were screened. A total of 27 trees viz., KUL-2, 18, 25, SMJ- 3, 4, 10, 15, 18, 21, 25, 33, 34, 37, 50, SME - 2, 5, 6, 9, 16, 21, 24, 26, 28, 29, VPS- 12, 13 and 15 were found to be superior for important economic traits and identified as plus trees.
Key words: Cocoa, plus trees, growth, pod traits, yield, variability.