Legume Research

  • Chief EditorJ. S. Sandhu

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Legume Research, volume 42 issue 2 (april 2019) : 168-172

Evaluation of diverse cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] germplasm accessions for drought tolerance

K.D. Nkoana, Abe Shegro Gerrano, E.T. Gwata
1Agricultural Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa.
  • Submitted09-05-2018|

  • Accepted15-10-2018|

  • First Online 31-01-2019|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-428

Cite article:- Nkoana K.D., Gerrano Shegro Abe, Gwata E.T. (2019). Evaluation of diverse cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] germplasm accessions for drought tolerance. Legume Research. 42(2): 168-172. doi: 10.18805/LR-428.
The genetic potential for drought tolerance in cowpea within the small holder sector has not been fully exploited in South Africa. Thus, a drought evaluation experiment was conducted at  the ARC-VOP to evaluate 28 cowpea germplasm accessions including two controls viz. IT96D-602 (drought tolerant) and TVU7778 (susceptible to drought) in the drought screening house using plastic box evaluation method in January, 2017. Genotypes raised for three weeks were subjected to 5 weeks of water stress treatment to determine their physiological response through leaf wilting index, relative water content and proline content followed by re-watering to determine genotype (s) with ability to recover from drought stress. Analyses of variance showed highly significant differences in response to moisture stress among the cowpea accessions for the selected physiological traits except for leaf wilting index at week two of drought stress. Stem greenness and recovery appeared to be a reliable indicator of drought tolerant genotypes which was readily observed in Acc1257, Acc1168, Acc2355, IT96D-602 and Acc5352 which also correlated significantly and positively with relative water content and proline content. The genotypes responded differently to drought stress indicating that there is sufficient genetic variability that can be utilized further in breeding for drought stress within the cowpea species.
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