Morphological variation and evolutionary significance of Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt: an under-exploited cucurbitaceous vegetable crop

Research paper by T. J. Shaina, S. Suhara Beevy

Indexed on: 13 Dec '11Published on: 13 Dec '11Published in: Plant systematics and evolution = Entwicklungsgeschichte und Systematik der Pflanzen


Morphological variation was analyzed in wild accessions and cultivars of the vegetatively propagated dioecious Coccinia grandis. Variations of 43 morphological characters, 19 qualitative and 23 quantitative traits, were analyzed among 40 female accessions, including 25 cultivars and 15 wild accessions. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to group accessions according to their morphological similarity. Principal component (PC) analysis revealed that the first three PCs accounted for 50% of the total variance, and differences among the accessions were evidenced principally in relation to fruit characteristics such as fruit weight, fruit length and the number of seeds in each fruit. Analysis of variance carried out in the entire germplasm revealed significant differences within the germplasm, whereas ANOVA carried out between the wild accessions and the cultivars proved the null hypothesis that there are no significant differences between the two groups, and differences were observed only in fruit characters that are targets of human selection. Principal component analysis, UPGMA cluster analysis and discriminant factor analysis revealed strong overlaps between the two groups indicating the ongoing process of evolution and selection in the species.