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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 358: International Symposium on Alliums for the Tropics

EVALUATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES OF ONION (ALLIUM CEPA L.) IN WEST AFRICA

Authors:   A. Rouamba, A. Ricroch, M. Sandmeier, T. Robert, A. Sarr
Abstract:
Onion is a very important vegetable in West Africa, ranking second after tomato. Onion production in the region faces critical constraints such as incidence of pests, lack of efficient distribution of well-adapted and improved seed to the farmers, and poor market organization. Local populations representing sources of adapted material with tolerance to several environmental factors are threatened by the introduction of higher yielding exotic varieties. Populations representing local germplasm were collected in six West African countries and evaluated both for agro-morphological and allozyme diversity. Almost 91% of the allozyme diversity was found within populations, contrary to quantitative trait diversity which can be structured by multivariate procedures into three well differentiated groups. The implications of these data for conservation of local onion genetic resources and their use in breeding programmes is discussed.
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