Morphological relationship among the Momordica species of Indian occurrence
1Present address: Central Horticultural Experiment Station, Aiginia, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India
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Analysis of morphological data for determining the genetic variation within seven Momordica species lead to the recognition of three groups. First group containing M. charantia and M. balsamina, was characterized by n = 11, annual, monoecious, non tuberous roots and muricate tubercled fruit surface. The second group comprised of M. dioica, M. sahyadrica, M. subangulata subsp. renigera and M. cochinchinensis which was characterized by n = 14, perennial, dioecious, tuberous tap roots and echinate-soft papillate fruit surface. The third group contained a single species M. cymbalaria and was characterized by n = 9, perennial, monoecious, tuberous tap roots, and ribbed fruit surface. The species accommodated in group I and II were similar in nature of arils, male flowers, seed surface, symmetrical anthers, ripe fruit colour and nature of epicarp while Group III could be differentiated from other two groups in these characters. The range of intra-specific variation, particularly for fruit and seed characters, was high in all the species studied. At inter-specific level, wide variation was observed for all the quantitative traits studied. Extensive collection, characterization, evaluation for resistance to biotic/abiotic stresses and conservation of species diversity assumes great priority in crop improvement programmes of Momordica.
Momordica, morphological variation, species relationship.