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International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2015, Article ID 610391, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/610391
Research Article

Phenotypic Diversity of Date Palm Cultivars (Phoenix dactylifera L.) from Sudan Estimated by Vegetative and Fruit Characteristics

1Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 101, 23053 Alnarp, Sweden
2Department of Research and Specialist Services, Seed Services Institute, Box CY550, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe

Received 25 September 2015; Accepted 13 December 2015

Academic Editor: Alexandre Sebbenn

Copyright © 2015 Mohammed Elsafy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to apply some of the vegetative and fruit traits which are easily recognised to identify the variation and the diversity level of the most famous Sudanese date palm cultivars grown on farm in the northern region of Sudan. Sixteen phenotypic traits consisting of ten quantitative and six qualitative characteristics were used for describing the vegetative and fruit characteristics. The principal components analysis (PCA) and UPGMA clustering were used to analyse the data set. The results revealed high variability among the cultivars according to PCA. Fourteen out of the sixteen quantitative and qualitative traits investigated showed a strong discriminating factor suggesting their possible uses in the initiation of Sudanese date palm morphological descriptor list. UPGMA clustering exhibited strong relationship between some cultivars according to their fruit and vegetative characteristics similarity. Based on morphological traits, cultivars Wad-laggi (Lag) and Wad-khateeb (Kha) formed a distinct group suggesting their close relatedness. Similarly, the cultivars sharing the dry fruit texture such as Gondaila (Gon), Tamoda (Tam), Kolmah (Kol), and Barkawi (Bar) were grouped together according to their vegetative traits. Further investigations on Sudanese date palm using more phenotypic characteristics are recommended in order to shape and complete the set of the morphological descriptor list.