Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Agriculture

1 Issue per year

Covered by: Elsevier - SCOPUS
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Preliminary study on character associations, phenotypic and genotypic divergence for yield and related quantitative traits among cowpea landraces (Vigna unguiculata) from the Western Highland Region of Cameroon

Eric Bertrand Kouam
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon, PO Box 222 Dschang, Cameroon
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Toscani Ngompe-Deffo
  • Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon, PO Box 222 Dschang, Cameroon
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mariette Anoumaa
  • Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon, PO Box 67 Dschang, Cameroon
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Remy Stéphane Pasquet
  • IRD, University of Paris Sud, UR 072, LEGS 91198 Gif-sur-yvette, France; 11 91400 Orsay, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-05-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0009


Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is an important tropical legume crop contributing significantly to food security in tropical regions. The present study was carried out to determine the extent of genetic variation, to estimate character associations, heritability and genetic advance of 25 quantitative traits in 30 genotypes of cultivated Vigna unguiculata from the western highland region of Cameroon. These quantitative traits were selected among cowpea descriptor lists. For all these traits, the analysis of variance showed significant difference among genotypes, highlighting the existence of important genetic divergence among the studied accessions. The highest phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variation was observed in grain yield, pod yield and 100 seed weight. Genetic advance of these three characters was also the highest. Broad sense heritability was high in general, with 20 traits out of 25 having heritability values greater than 70%. This high heritability indicates little influence of the environment on these characters in cowpea. The highest heritability was recorded for 100 seed weight (98.15%) and the lowest for shoot weight (41.38%). At 0.05 probability level, grain yield correlated significantly with 21 out of the 24 other quantitative traits. Among others, grain yield correlated positively and significantly with 100 seed weight, number of pods per plant, number of branches per plant, number of nodes per plant, plant height, plant width, pod length, pod width, seed length, seed width and number of seeds per pod. These positive correlations between grain yield and many other traits indicate that a selection program based on any of these traits will result in increasing yield. Cluster analysis using UPGMA method revealed five distinct clusters. Genotypes named KEBCP025, KEB-CP006, KEB-CP098, KEB-CP070, and more importantly KEB-CP054 and KEB-CP004, were grouped in a single cluster and were characterized by a significantly higher grain yield, pod yield, number of pods per plant, number of seed per pod, plant height, pod length and pod width compared to other clusters. Accessions KEB-CP036 and KEB-CP031 produced significantly more important fresh biomass. These genotypes could be used as parents in genetic improvement programs aiming to increase yield and fresh biomass in cowpea.

Keywords: Morphometric analysis; Genetic Advance; Genetic divergence; Coefficient of variation; Grain yield; Heritability


  • Aremu C.O., Exploring statistical tools in measuring genetic diversity for crop improvement, In M. Caliskan (ed). Genetic Diversity in Plants, 2012, 340-348Google Scholar

  • Bidima I.M., Haricot niebe: L’or blanc du Sahel, La voix du Paysan -Mensuel de l’entrepreneur rural, 2012Google Scholar

  • Ceballos H., Iglesias C.A., Perez J.C., Dixon A.G.O., Cassava breeding: opportunities and challenges, Plant Molecular Biology, 2004, 56, 503-516Google Scholar

  • Deshmukh S.N., Basu M.S., Reddy P.S., Genetic variability, character association and path analysis of quantitative traits in Virginia bunch varieties of ground nut. Indian Journal of Agriculture Science, 1986, 56, 816-821Google Scholar

  • Diouf D., Hilu K.W., Microsatellites and RAPD markers to study genetic relationships among cowpea breeding lines and local varieties in Senegal, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 2005, 52 (8), 1057-1067Google Scholar

  • Dudje I.Y., Omoigui L.O., Ekeleme F., Kamara A.Y., Ajeigbe H., Production du niebe en Afrique de l’Ouest : guide du paysan, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2009Google Scholar

  • Eid M.H., Estimation of heritability and genetic advance of yield traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under drought condition, International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology, 2009, 1(7), 115-120Google Scholar

  • Ene C.O., Ogbonna P.E., Agbo C.U., Chukwudi U.P., Studies of phenotypic and genotypic variation in sixteen cucumber genotypes. Chilean Journal of agricultural research, 2016, 76 (1), 307-313Google Scholar

  • Fehr W.I., Principles of cultivar development, Macmillan, New York, USA, 1987, 1Google Scholar

  • Frankel O.H., Brown A.H.D., Burdon J.J., The Conservation of Plant Biodiversity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995Google Scholar

  • Gerrano A.S., Adebola P.O., Jansen van Rensburg W.S., Laurie S.M., Genetic variability in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) genotypes, South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 2015, 32(3), 165-174Google Scholar

  • Hamdi A., El-Ghareib A.A., Shafey S.A., Ibrahim M.A.M., Genetic variability, heritability, and expected genetic advance for earliness and seed yield from selection in lentil. Egypt Journal of Agriculture Research, 2003, 81, 125-137Google Scholar

  • IBPGR (International Board for Plant Genetic Resources), Descriptors for cowpea, Rome, Italy, 1983Google Scholar

  • Idahosa D.O., Alika J.E., Omoregie A.U., Genetic variability, heritability and expressed genetic advance as indices for yield and yield components selection in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) Academia Arena, 2010, 2(5), 22-26Google Scholar

  • Johnson H.W., Robinson H.F., Comstock R.E., Estimates of genetic and environmental variability in soybeans, Agronomy Journal, 1955, 47(7), 314-318Google Scholar

  • Kang M.S., Quantitative Genetics, Genomics, and Plant Breeding, CABI, 2002Google Scholar

  • Kouam E.B., Ndo S.M., Mandou M.S., Chotangui A.H., Tankou C.M., Genotypic variation in tolerance to salinity of common beans cultivated in Western Cameroon as assessed at germinationGoogle Scholar

  • and during early seedling growth. Open Agriculture, 2017, 2, 600-610 Malarvizhi D., Swaminathan C., Robin S., Kannan K., Genetic variability studies in fodder cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp), Legume Research, 2005, 28(1), 52-54Google Scholar

  • Nedumaran S., Abinaya P., Jyosthnaa P., Shraavya B., Rao P., Bantilan C., Grain Legumes Production, Consumption and Trade Trends in Developing Countries. Working Paper Series No 60. ICRISAT Research Program, Markets, Institutions and Policies. Patancheru 502 324, Telangana, India: InternationalGoogle Scholar

  • Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, 2015Google Scholar

  • Nkamleu B., Coulibaly O., Thyggard S., Tamo M., Farmers and Traders Decision Making in Cowpea Pest Management in Western Highlands of Cameroon, World Cowpea Research conference III, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2000Google Scholar

  • Odjugo P.A.O., The impact of tillage systems on soil microclimate, growth and yield of cassava (Manihot utilisima) in Midwestern Nigeria, African Journal of Agricultural Research, 2008, 3, 225-233Google Scholar

  • Panse V.G., Genetics of quantitative characters in relation to plant breeding, Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 1957, 17, 318-328Google Scholar

  • Robinson H.F., Comstock R.E., Harvey P.H., 1949, Estimates of heritability and degree of dominance in corn, Agronomy Journal, 1949, 42, 353-359Google Scholar

  • Roy S.C., Sharma B.D., Assessment of genetic diversity in rice [Oryza sativa L.] germplasm based on agro-morphology traits and zinc-iron content for crop improvement, Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, 2014, 20(2), 209-224Google Scholar

  • Shabanimofrad M., Rafii M.Y., Megat Wahab P.E., Biabani A.R., Latif M.A., Phenotypic, genotypic and genetic divergence found in 48 newly collected Malaysian accessions of Jatropha curcas L., Industrial Crops and Products, 2013, 42, 543- 551 Google Scholar

  • Sharma J.R., 1988. Statistical and biometrical techniques in plant breeding, New Age International Limited Publishers, New Delhi, India, 1988Google Scholar

  • Sharmar S., Upadhyaya H.D., Rootkiwal M., Varshney R.K., Gowda C.L.L., Chickpea, In M. Singh, H.D. Upadhyaya, I.S. Bisht (eds). Genetic and Genomic Resources of Grain Legume Improvement, Elsevier, London, UK, 2013, 81-104Google Scholar

  • Singh B.B., Cambliss O.I., Sharma B., Recent advances in cowpea breeding, In B.B.Singh, D.R. Mohan Raj, K. Dashiell, L.E.N. JACKAI (eds). Advances in cowpea research, IITA- JIRCAS, Ibadan, Nigeria, 1997, 30-49Google Scholar

  • Singh R.K., Chaudhary B.D., Biometrical methods in quantitative genetic analysis, Kalyani Publishers, Ludhiana, New Delhi, 1977Google Scholar

  • Srinivas J., Vijay, Kale S., Nagre P.K., Ramanagouda, Genetic variabil ity, heritability and genetic advance in cow pea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp], Frontiers in Crop Improvement, 2016, 4(1), 85-87Google Scholar

  • Subudhi P.K., Sasaki T., Khush G.S., Rice, In C. Kole (ed). Genome mapping and molecular breeding in plants, Springer, Verlag, Berlin, 2006, 1-78Google Scholar

  • Suganthi S., Murugan S., Association analysis in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. walp.), Legume Research, 2008, 31(2), 130 -132Google Scholar

  • Tuhina-Khatun M., Hanafi M.M., Yusop M.R., Wong M.Y., Salleh F.M., Ferdous J., Genetic Variation, Heritability, and Diversity Analysis of Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes Based on Quantitative Traits, BioMed Research International, 2015, 290861Google Scholar

  • Veeramani, Venkatesan N.M., Thangavel P., Ganesan J., Genetic variability, heritability and genetic advance analysis in segregating generation of blackgram (Vigna mungo (L.) hepper), Legume Research, 2005, 28 (1), 49-51Google Scholar

  • Withanage D.L., Characterization and evaluation of cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata [L.] Walp) germplasm, Master thesis, University of agricultural sciences, India, 2005Google Scholar

  • Wolde T., Eticha F., Alamerew S., Assefa E., Dutamo D., Genetic variability, heritability and genetic advance for yield and yield related traits in Durum wheat (Triticum durum L.) accessions, Sky Journal of Agricultural Research, 2016, 5(3), 42-47Google Scholar

  • Xie W., Wang G., Yuan M., Yao W., Lyu K., Zhao H., et al., Breeding signatures of rice improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from a large germplasm collection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015, 112, 5411-5419Google Scholar

  • Yadav Y.C., Sanjay-Kumar B.B., Dixit S.K., Genetic variability, heritability and genetic advance for some traits in Cucumber, Indian Journal of Agricultural Research, 2009, 8, 51-57Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-09-18

Accepted: 2018-03-08

Published Online: 2018-05-15

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 84–97, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0009.

Export Citation

© 2018 Toscani Ngompe-Deffo, et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in