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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Yield Potential of Cowpea Genotypes Grown Under Virus Pressure

Authors
item GOENAGA, RICARDO
item Gillaspie, Athey
item QUILES, ADOLFO

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Goenaga, R.J., Gillaspie Jr, A.G., Quiles-Belen, A. 2008. Assessing Yield Potential of Cowpea Genotypes Grown Under Virus Pressure. HortScience 43(3):673-676.

Interpretive Summary: Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is the most economically important indigenous African legume crop. The crop is also an important staple in many parts of the United States, South and Central America, the Caribbean, India and Australia. Viral diseases, particularly cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and blackeye cowpea mosaic virus (BlCMV), are a limiting factor in cowpea production and hence, identifying sources of resistance is an important objective of cowpea breeding programs. We evaluated in replicated field plots and under virus pressure nine cowpea plant introductions (PI’s) and three commercial cultivars some of which had shown absence of symptoms for CMV and BlCMV in seed regeneration plots of the U.S. cowpea collection. PI 441917 had the highest 3-year mean for grain yield. PI 147071, PI 180014 and ‘Knucklehull-VNR’ had higher seed protein concentration than other genotypes but their grain yield was significantly lower than that of PI 441917. This study demonstrates that PI 441917 is a superior cowpea genotype and once released, it should be useful in cowpea breeding programs to help control yield losses by CMV and BlCMV.

Technical Abstract: Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) is an important grain legume in many parts of the tropics. However, viral diseases, particularly cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and blackeye cowpea mosaic virus (BlCMV), can be a limiting factor in cowpea production. We evaluated in replicated field plots and under virus pressure nine plant introductions (PI 441919, 441925, 441917, 147071, 146618, 180014, 180355, 194208, 612607) and three commercial cultivars (Coronet, Knucklehull-VNR, Pinkeye Purplehull) some of which had shown absence of symptoms for CMV and BlCMV in unreplicated, seed regeneration plots of the U.S. cowpea collection. Only 3% of all plots had plants infected with both CMV and BlCMV, in 2003 and 2004. This percentage increased to 47% in 2005. PI 441917 had the highest 3-year mean for grain yield. PI 147071, PI 180014 and ‘Knucklehull-VNR’ had higher seed protein concentration than other genotypes but their grain yield was significantly lower than that of PI 441917. Cultivar Coronet and PI 180355 attained midbloom and maturity earlier than the other genotypes. Overall, PI 441917 outperformed all other genotypes for grain yield including virus resistant PI 612607 and cultivar Knucklehull-VNR. This PI is in the process of being released as a virus-resistant genotype and should be useful in cowpea breeding programs to help control yield losses by CMV and BlCMV.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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