Performance of Drought Tolerant African Dura Oil Palm under Coastal Region of Maharashtra
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Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis, Jacq.) is a potential crop to meet the vegetable oil requirement in India due to its higher productivity and better net returns to the farmers than any other edible oil yielding crop. Eighteen drought tolerant African Dura genotypes were evaluated under irrigated and rainfed conditions at Agricultural Research Station, Mulde on lateritic sandy loam soils of Konkan region in Maharashtra. Under rainfed condition genotype ZS-6 produced the maximum yield of 9.1 t ha which was on par with ZS-8 (9.0 t ha-1), ZS-5 (8.6 t ha-1), TS-7 (8.3 t ha-1), ZS-3 (7.7 t ha-1), TS-10 (7.7 t ha-1) and TS-9 (7.2 t ha-1). Genotypes ZS-6 and TS-7 recorded higher yield under rainfed condition than irrigated condition with higher drought index of 115.2 and 109.2 per cent respectively. Zambian and Tanzanian genotypes were found superior in respect of yield and yield attributing characters as compared to Guinea Bissau genotypes. Under irrigated condition, genotypes ZS-8 and TS-10 recorded significantly higher fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield (10.6 t ha-1) followed by 9.7 t ha-1 in TS-2 and 9.6 t ha-1 in ZS-2 and ZS-5. Biochemical and physiological parameters among genotypes varied significantly. Under rainfed condition, genotype TS-8 recorded more relative water content (81.7%), and electrolyte leaching per cent was minimum in genotype TS-2 (41.7%). Lipid peroxidase values were lower in genotype TS-2 (0.092) and maximum epicuticular wax content was observed in genotype G.B. 25/314 (49.6 mg cm-2).
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