Phenological development in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) at constant exposure to photoperiods of 10 to 16 h.

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    The flowering and fruit-set of a bambara groundnut selection from Ankpa, Nigeria, were studied in greenhouses at constant exposure to photoperiods of 10, 12, 12·5, 13, 14 and 16 h. The development of embryos was determined in ovaries from plants under photoperiods of 11·5 h and ⩾ 14 h. The beginning of flowering, recorded as the number of days from sowing to the first open flower, was delayed by lengthening the photoperiod. It started 7 d later under 16 h than under 10 h. This difference increased during the production of the next nine open flowers. Lengthening the photoperiod also caused a delay in the beginning of fruit development. Under 13 h it was delayed by more than 40 d compared with fruit development under 10 h. Some plants under 14 and 16 h even failed to produce pods. After the beginning of fruit development dry matter partitioning to pods was substantially less under 14 and 16 h photoperiods than under photoperiods of 13 h or less; this was reflected in a strong reduction of pod growth rates. Under an 11·5 h photoperiod two groups of ovaries could be distinguished. In both, embryo development was identical up to 17 d after anthesis, but then the embryos in the first group continued to develop until they were full-grown at about 41 d after anthesis, whereas the growth of the embryos in the second group stopped. Embryo development under a photoperiod of ⩾ 14 h was similar to that in the ovaries with discontinued embryo growth under the 11·5 photoperiod. Healthy-looking embryos were found in ovaries up to 32 d after anthesis under a photoperiod ⩾ 14 h. From then onwards embryos started to shrivel and degenerate. Finally, the ovaries aborted
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-452
    JournalAnnals of Botany
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1993

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