MORPHOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION AND DIVERSITY ANALYSIS OF A MAKAPUNO COCONUT POPULATION IN U.P. LOS BANOS
Md. Nazirul Islam*, A. K. Azad**, Leon O. Namuco***, Teresita H. Borromeo***, Maria Lourdes O. Cedo*** and Edna A. Aguilar***
Genetic diversity of embryo cultured makapuno coconut whose endosperm is thicker and softer instead of hard crispy, growing at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, was assessed using morphometric characters from March 2004 to October 2005. Shannon 2 Weaver Diversity Index and Chi-square (÷ ) tests were used to analyze variation in both the qualitative and quantitative characters. Substantial variation in crown shape, bole category, color of young fruit, petiole and inflorescence pigmentation, shape of stem base, fruit characteristics, and leaf structure was observed in the population of 52 palms. Yield of makapuno was estimated as 88%. Simultaneous occurrence of male and female phases allows self-pollination, which favors higher yield of makapuno. The principal component analysis revealed that fruit, nut and husk weight accounted for 99 % of the observed variation. Twelve morphological variables, grouped the population into 6 clusters. Common characters of palm belonging to cluster I are lower weights of fruit, nut and husk with shorter fruit equatorial diameter and shorter internodes. Palms belonging to cluster II have higher weight of nut and longer equatorial diameter. Palms of cluster III are characterized by cylindrical stem and lower number of green leaves. Cluster IV is characterized by heavy fruit and nut weight with elongated shape of nut. Higher number of green leaves presence is the common character of palms of cluster V. Girth at bole region and longer petiole length of leaves are the common characters of palms belonging to cluster VI.