GROWTH VARIATION IN REPRODUCTIVE STRUCTURES OF PHYSALIS POPULATIONS
Rita Carolina De Melo
Jefferson Luís Meirelles Coimbra
Altamir Frederico Guidolin
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AbstractPhysalis peruviana L., a species native to the Andean region, is well-adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of Brazil, but studies on the genetic behavior of the species in Brazil are scarce. The purpose of this study was to characterize the phenotypic variation in traits of physalis populations related to the phenological cycle of the crop. The experiment consisted of six physalis populations, arranged in a randomized block design with two replications. The traits: number of flower buds, of flowers and of fruits were assessed 36, 43, 50, 57, 64 and 71 days after planting the seedlings in the field. Analysis of variance showed a significant effect of the population×time interaction, at 5% error probability. Regression analysis (P<0.05) showed that flower bud and flower formation was lower in the population of Vacaria, but fruiting was similar to the populations from Lages and Colombia, with a production of 13 fruits/plant. The population from Fraiburgo produced a higher number of fruits (16 fruits/plant), but the negligible divergence between this and other populations hampers the selection processes for the fruit yield trait. The results show limited variation for traits related to crop cycle, impairing the early selection of populations for flower bud formation. In this sense, techniques to expand and/or generate genetic variability are imperative for genetic progress.