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Horticultural characterization of AVRDC moringa germplasm in the Philippines and Taiwan

Palada, M. C., Patricio, H. G., Ebert, A. W., Wu, D. L.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1102 pp. 93-98
Moringa oleifera, biomass, branches, canopy, climate, flooded conditions, flowering, germplasm, horticulture, leaves, pruning, rain, raised beds, seed yield, seedlings, typhoons, India, Laos, Philippines, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, United States
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 'Mo-35' from Tanzania while 'Mo-8' from Thailand produced the largest stem diameter (36 cm). Leaf fresh weight and dry biomass was highest (15.8 and 9.2 t ha-1, respectively) for 'Mo-35' at 70 DAT. Survival and stand count decreased after two strong typhoons and severe flooding in 2009 and 2010. In the Philippines, accessions 'Mo-2' (USA) and 'Mo-40' (India) produced the tallest plants 28 weeks after second pruning. Mean stem diameter ranged from 3.5 cm ('Mo-34') to 8.5 cm ('Mo-4'). 'Mo-38' (Thailand) produced the highest number of branches. Two accessions from Thailand ('Mo-4' and 'Mo-14') resulted in the highest leaf fresh weight, which exceeded 20 t ha-1 from two prunings, while 'Mo-29' (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.