Charlotte A. O. Adje, Enoch G. Achigan-Dako, Geo Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge, Hounnankpon Yedomonhan and Clément Agbangla (2019) Morphological characterization of pineapple (Ananas comosus) genetic resources from Benin. Fruits 74(4), 167–179.
The narrow knowledge of the genetic variability in cultivated pineapple in the Republic of Benin and in other West African countries limits its efficient use and its expansion in the international market; it also hinders the efficient development of pineapple while the crop is listed among the top three priority fruit species to be promoted in Africa. In this study, we assessed pineapple morphological diversity of 55 accessions collected in Benin. Ten qualitative and twenty quantitative traits were used to describe them. Stepwise discriminant analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were performed to identify quantitative morphological traits which best differentiate accessions and group them into cultivars/morphotypes. Five pineapple cultivars were identified and characterized for Benin, including ‘Smooth Cayenne’, ‘Baronne de Rothschild’, ‘Pérola’, ‘Singapore Spanish’, and ‘Green Spanish’. We observed significant morphological variation among the cultivars. The collected materials were grouped in three clusters based on flowering date, fruit diameter, fruit shelf life, water content, leaf width, fruit weight and the crown height and weight. Correlation analyses between descriptors revealed positive relationships between fruits weight, peduncle diameter, and conicity index in ‘Cayenne’ and ‘Spanish’. This study showed the existence of clear morphological variation among pineapple cultivars which could be used for fruit improvement through clonal selection and farmer training on propagule production and crop homogeneity. ‘Singapore Spanish’, and ‘Green Spanish’ could be promoted for their attractive shell color and long shelf life.
Keywords: Benin, pineapple, Ananas comosus, cultivars, descriptors list, diversity