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Weaning and Field Survival Responses of Propagules to Propagating Structures and Seedling Types in Sheanut Production in Tropical Africa

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2014.515239    2,185 Downloads   2,691 Views  

ABSTRACT

The Shea is an economic tree found in West and Central Africa with huge industrial uses in the confectionery, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors worldwide. Its rapid multiplication has been hampered by its slow growth and long gestation period. Successes in cutting propagation have been achieved (between 60% - 80%), however weaning of the rooted cuttings for establishment has been a major challenge. Two factorial experiments were carried out in a study in 2012. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of propagating structures and seedling types on the weaning and subsequent field establishment of propagules of Shea tree for plantation establishment. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used. Survival of the rooted cuttings in the mist propagator was very high (93.3%) and comparable to that of the seedlings (100%). The rooted cuttings in mist propagator produced the highest number of leaves, 11 times greater than the least number of leaves produced by seedlings in the lath house. Comparing the seedling types, the rooted cuttings produced significantly greater number of leaves, 4.8 times than the normal seedlings. Rooted cuttings in the mist propagator produced the biggest stem girth significantly greater than the seedlings kept in all the structures. The rooted cuttings in the mist propagator produced 4.4 times bigger stem girths than the seedlings in the lath house which had the smallest stem girth. The rooted cuttings in the mist propagator produced the tallest plants, 1.4 times and 1.9 times significantly taller than the seedlings in the propagating pit and lath house, respectively, which produced the shortest plants. There was a significant relationship between field survival of propagules and the month of establishment expressed as Y (percent survival) = -2844 + 0.070 × (month); P < 0.001; R2 = 0.68; n = 90. Rooted cuttings transplanted in a hole depth of 52.0 cm produced the biggest stem girth, 5.6 times bigger than the stem girth of the seedlings transplanted into any of the three hole depths. Rooted cuttings transplanted into a hole depth of 52.0 cm produced the highest number of leaves, three times more than the seedlings in 26 cm hole depth, which produced the least number of leaves. The study concluded that the mist propagator was the most suitable propagating structure for weaning rooted cuttings of sheanut tree since it resulted in higher survival of the rooted cuttings as well as promoted the growth of the rooted cuttings. For field establishment, rooted cuttings transplanted into hole depth of 52 cm resulted in higher survival rates and performed better in terms of growth than the seedlings. Furthermore, the month of establishment was very critical for the rate of survival of the transplanted propagules of Shea tree.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Yeboah, J. , Branoh Banful, B. , Amoah, F. , Maalekuu, B. and Boateng, P. (2014) Weaning and Field Survival Responses of Propagules to Propagating Structures and Seedling Types in Sheanut Production in Tropical Africa. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 2247-2255. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.515239.

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