Morphological variation of Libyan carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.)
Keywords:Carob, Ceratonia siliqua, morphological traits, genetic variation
Carob tree Ceratonia siliqua L., is an evergreen endemic species found naturally in El-Jabal El-Akhdar region which is located immediately south of the coastal belt in the northeastern region of Libya. Morphological characteristics have been the main descriptive tool to characterize a given collection or germplasm, or to identify and differentiate wild type populations. Eighteen carob population were collected from six different sites in El-Jabal El-Akhdar area. Seven characters on discriminative pods were measured: the length, width, thickness, number of seeds, weight of pulp, and yield as well as one character to seeds: the weight seeds. The present study showed that the choice of pod characters to assess Libyan carob diversity is a useful and powerful tool. The means and standard deviations of morphometric characters measured in Libyan carob showed highly significant differences among the studied populations for all the examined characteristics. Differences in morphometric traits of carob pods and seeds among Libyan carob populations are primarily caused by genetic factors. The pod size of Libyan carob is considered to be the medium size (10.89 – 17.55cm).
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