Variation in Shoot, Peduncle and Fruit Growth of Lagenaria siceraria Landraces

Plants (Basel). 2023 Jan 24;12(3):532. doi: 10.3390/plants12030532.


Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standley is a prominent food source as almost all its plant parts are edible. However, no studies have recorded the changes in shoots, peduncles and fruits during its growth. Hence, this study aimed to record changes in shoot traits and relate the peduncle to the fruit traits of L. siceraria landraces across different growth stages. Changes in shoots, peduncles and fruits during growth were compared within and among landraces using analysis of variance, correlation, principal component analysis, cluster analysis and heritability estimates. Almost all landraces had harvestable shoots at 42 days after sowing. Peduncles became shorter and wider as the fruits elongated. Shoots, peduncles and fruits correlated positively with each other. The informative principal components had a total variability of 84.488%, with a major contribution from shoot traits. The biplot and dendrogram clustered landraces with similar growth habits and the harvestable shoot and fruit attributes into three clusters, but KRI and NSRC formed singlets. Shoot width (60.2%) and peduncle length (55.2%) had high heritability estimates. The general low heritability estimates and genetic advances indicated the presence of non-additive gene action. This study is the first report on changes in harvested shoots and the relationship between peduncles and fruits during growth.

Keywords: correlation; fruit; harvested shoots; peduncle; variability.

Grant support

This research was funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), grant number—MND190613447241.