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Characterization of Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana) Genotypes

A. Akter, H. Rahman


The deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs belonging to the genus Ziziphus with more than 100 species, disseminated in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world deals sufficient plants genetic resources appropriate for arid and semi-arid climates to enrich food security. Among some of the species, like Z. mauritiana occur in closely every continent and is thought to have great genetic diversity. In China and India, the outdated selection and cultivation of Ziziphus varieties resulted in better known and more widely researched varieties than those in other regions. Several local ber varieties are cultivated for fruit production in Jamalpur, Bangladesh with the research work regarding different aspects including morphological characterization of the available germplasm resources. An experiment to characterize nine ber genotypes viz. BARI Kul-1, BARI Kul-2, BARI Kul-3, Apple Kul, BAU Kul-1, Dhaka-90, ZM Jam-122, ZM Jam-223 and ZM Jam-244 for breeding purpose and improvement was conducted at Fruit Orchard, Horticulture Research Centre (HRC), Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Jamalpur, Bangladesh during the fruiting season of 2017–2018. In this study, the existing gene pool was characterized for physical and morphological diversity to develop a reliable identification key which would lead to characterization, selection and approval of better germplasm for further cultivation. Propagation method, tree and branch characteristics of ber genotypes: types of planting material, rootstock used, tree vigour, number of shoots after 1½ month of pruning, plant height, base girth, branch surface, branch color in older shoot, branch color in new shoot, tree spread (North-South and East-West direction), plant habit, foliage density within 1 foot, branch thorniness, and thorn shape, were studied. Leaf characteristics of ber genotypes: leaf petiole size, leaf shape, leaf apex, leaf base, leaf position, leaf margin, older leaf surface, young leaf surface, leaf size, leaf length, leaf breadth, leaf color in upper surface (old leaves and new leaves), leaf color in lower surface (old leaves and new leaves) and intensity of green color in leaf, were recorded. Flower characteristics of ber genotypes: position of flower buds, time of start of flowering, time of end of flowering, flower intensity of shoot, number of flowers per cluster, bearing habit, flower color, calyx color, calyx number, corolla color, corolla number, anther color and anther number, were noted. Fruit characteristics of ber genotypes: number of fruits per cluster, time for fruit set after pollination, time of 50% fruit maturity or harvest, fruit maturity group, fruit shape, mature fruit color, fruit surface, skin thickness, fruit apex, fruit base, flesh color, crispiness, and organoleptic taste, were observed. Stone characteristics of ber genotypes: stone shape, stone apex, stone base, stone length, stone breadth, and stone weight, were determined. Yield and fruit qualitative characteristics of ber genotypes: individual fruit weight, fruit size, fruit length, fruit breadth, edible portion, TSS, yield per plant, and shelf-life, were documented. Fruit drop and insect and disease reaction of ber genotypes: fruit drop, diseases (powdery mildew, sooty mould, fruit rot), and insects (mealy bug, chafer beetle, fruit borer), were manifested. Results showed a wide range of physico-morphological diversity of all the 9 ber genotypes.


Keywords: Ber, underutilized fruit, characterization, and genotypes.

Cite this Article

A. Akter, H. Rahman. Characterization of Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana) Genotypes. Research & Reviews: Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. 2019; 8(1): 11–23p.

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