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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR SUBTROPICAL/TROPICAL FRUIT CROP PRODUCTION

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

Title: Field screening of cowpea cultivars for alkaline soil tolerance

Authors
item Goenaga, Ricardo
item Gillaspie, Athey
item Quiles, Adolfo

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 13, 2010
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
Citation: Goenaga, R.J., Gillaspie Jr, A.G., Quiles-Belen, A. 2010. Field screening of cowpea cultivars for alkaline soil tolerance. HortScience. 45(11):1639-1642.

Interpretive Summary: Cowpea or Southernpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] is an important legume crop used as a feed for livestock, as a green vegetable and for consumption of its dry beans which are high in protein. When grown at high soil pH (pH > 7.5), cowpea develops serious nutritional deficiencies resulting in reduced plant growth and low yield. We evaluated in replicated field plots at two locations 24 cowpea genotypes and two commercial cultivars some of which have shown alkaline-soil tolerance in unreplicated seed regeneration plots of the U.S. cowpea collection. Several genotypes such as PI 222756, 214354, 163142, 582605, 582840, 255766, 582610, 582614, 582576, 582809 performed well at both locations. These genotypes should be useful in cowpea breeding programs as potential sources for alkaline-soil tolerance.

Technical Abstract: Cowpea or Southernpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] is an important legume crop used as a feed for livestock, as a green vegetable and for consumption of its dry beans which provide 22-25% protein. The crop is very sensitive to alkaline soil conditions. When grown at soil pH of 7.5 or higher, cowpea develops severe leaf chlorosis caused by deficiencies of Fe, Zn and Mn resulting in stunted plant growth and yield reduction. We evaluated in replicated field experiments at St. Croix, USVI and Juana Díaz, PR, 24 Plant Introductions (PIs) and two commercial cultivars some of which have shown some tolerance to alkaline soils in unreplicated, seed regeneration plots of the U.S. cowpea collection. Alkaline soil conditions at St. Croix were too severe resulting in average yield of genotypes at this location to be significantly lower and 77% less than at Juana Díaz. Nevertheless, some genotypes performed well at both locations. For example, PI’s 222756, 214354, 163142, 582605, 582840, 255766, 582610, 582614, 582576, 582809, and 349674 yielded in the upper half of the group at both locations. Accession PI 163142 ranked third in grain yield production at both locations. These genotypes deserve further attention as potential sources of alkaline soil tolerance.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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