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Agro-morphological characterization and assessment of variability in local germoplasm of Cucumis melo L. in Tunisia

Imen Henane, Najla Mezghani, Imen Tlili, Thouraya Rhim, Ismail Ghezal, Kamel Arfaoui, Hager Jebari

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.3(12), 198-207, December 2013


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The agro-morphological characterization is fundamental in order to provide information for genetic resources conservation and breeding programs. The present study was carried out to characterize six local varieties of melon (Cucumis melo L.) selected by the National Institute of Agronomic Research of Tunisia. The studied varieties were grown in the field in randomized block design with three replicates. A descriptor list with 21 (9 quantitative and 12 qualitative) characters related to stem, leaf, fruit and seed was adopted. Quantitative data underwent analysis of variance (ANOVA) and principal component analysis (PCA); qualitative data was subjected to factorial correspondence analysis (FCA). With the traits retained in the PCA and the dimensions obtained in the FCA, a cluster analysis was performed using the unweighted pair-group method of averages. Significant differences were noted for the totality of the quantitative traits and high degree of polymorphism was observed for almost all of qualitative characters. Cluster analysis and distribution of populations in the 1-2 plan of PCA and FCA separated the varieties in different group with a divergence of ‘Fakous’ (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus) variety from the other varieties.


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