Investigating phenotypic variation in fruit traits constitute an important base for biodiversity assessment and domestication. The present study was carried out in order to assess the diversity of phenotypic traits of Carapa procera fruits. A total of 430 fruits were collected on 43 trees, and their surface aspect, length, width, weight, number of carpels and number and weight of seeds were recorded. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis were used firstly on the fruit variables to determine morphotypes and secondly on the morphotypes variables to relate their traits to tree characteristics. Analyses of variance were performed to test for differences in phenotypic traits between morphotypes. Three morphotypes of C. procera fruits were identified: Morphotype 1, morphotype 2 and morphotype 3 including crested fruits, goffering fruits and smooth fruits, respectively. Morphotype 1 and 2 grouped the largest and heaviest fruits, while the morphotype 3 grouped the smallest and lightest ones. The highest number of seeds per fruit was found in morphotype 2, whereas morphotype 3 had the lowest number. Morphotypes were not related to the tree size. Morphotype 2 provides the highest value traits and represents the best choice for plantation purposes.
Key words: Biological diversity, morphological traits, wild fruits, Carapa procera, oil tree, Burkina Faso.