Morphological Evaluation of Mulberry Genotypes across different Agro-ecological Conditions in Uganda

Mulberry (Morus spp.) is the chief source of food for the silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) which grows indiverse climatic conditions and is regarded as a unique plant on this earth due to its ability to be cultivated in different forms; multiple uses of leaf foliage and its positive impact in environment, bioremediation of polluted sites, conservation of water, prevention of soil erosion and improvement of air quality by carbon sequestering and pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic and health care industries has gained the attention of industrialists. Eight different mulberry genotypes were evaluated using eleven different traits related to agronomic and quality attributes as a feed for silkworm. The experiments were conducted in nine different districts across Uganda using a randomized complete block design. Analysis of variance was performed on quantitative characters to assess the morphological diversity. The results obtained revealed a high significant difference among the genotypes across all the locations. The traits that were significantly different across the mulberry accessions included lamina width and petiole length (P ≤ 0.01), petiole width and growth height (P≤0.05), internodes distance and number of branches (P ≤ 0.001). Mysore Local and Thailand varieties had the highest plant height, Kanva2 had the highest number of branches, the longest bud length was observed in Local variety while the leaf yield was more in Thailand. The correlationcoefficient showed a positive significant association of all the traits with leaf yield. The results obtained indicated that genotypes performed slightly differently in differently locations due to different factors studied. Overall, we therefore recommend farmers in these diverse ecological zones to grow these mulberry varieties, with good agronomic practices such as proper spacing, timely weeding and pest and disease management in order to obtain consistent high yields.
Correlation coefficient, Genetic diversity, Mulberry, traits
Masiga, C. W., Esimu, J., Janet, B. S., Walimbwa, N. E., Mushikoma, D., Kasiime, G., ... & Kiboma, M. Morphological Evaluation of mulberry genotypes across different agro-ecological conditions in Uganda.DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/K6V8H