Written Paper

Diversity conservation of adlay germplasm in the Philippines  [2017]

Bon, S.G. Enicola, E.E. Padasas, G.Y. Galvez, H.F.

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Adlay, Coix lacryma-jobi L. is a lesser known cultivated landrace cereal crop with a high potential as an alternative energy source and recently explored for nutraceutical applications. It is a native of South and South-East Asia including the Philippines. The cultivated varieties of adlay with well-developed starch grains is grown in many marginal farms especially in indigenous farming communities in southern Philippines as supplemental caloric source. Thus wider interests in adlay as potential alternative source of caloric energy has surfaced recently, viewed as a component addition to the food sufficiency and diversification equation program. Given the perceived value to the supply of local staple grains it is imperative that the local varieties of adlay be conserved and studied. At present agronomic and diversity information about the local adlay is wanting. The present study aims to enhance the conservation of adlay genetic resources through collection, evaluation and characterization. Exploration and collecting of adlay germplasm was conducted in six administrative provinces in the Philippines namely: Bukidnon, Benguet, Lanao del Sur, Zambonga Del Sur, Palawan and Misamis Oriental. A total of 26 population samples were assembled. Samples were planted for seed increase, morpho-agronomic characterization, initial field evaluation and subsequent ex situ seed conservation. Estimates of genetic diversity following the Shannon-Weaver Diversity index showed
that eleven of forty morpho-agronomic descriptors have high indices ranging from 0.75 to 0.91. The high index value descriptors were: culm color, intensity of anthocyanin, coloration of culm, leaf length, stigma length, culm length, number of productive tillers, culm diameter, length of sheathing bracts, range of grain distribution, grain width and color of grain at maturity. Preliminary results thus indicated potentially high genetic diversity of the Philippine adlay underscoring the need for strengthened efforts in conservation and assessment of the crop germplasm.

From the journal

Philippine Journal of Crop Science (Philippines)

ISSN : 0115-463X