Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen Diversity and use of the Calabash tree ( Crescentia cujete  L.) in Colombia Johanna Ar...
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Diversity and use of the Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete L.) in Colombia

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Diversity and use of the Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete L.) in Colombia

  1. 1. Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen Diversity and use of the Calabash tree ( Crescentia cujete L.) in Colombia Johanna Arango Ulloa¹, Brigitte L. Maass¹ and Enrique Murgueitio² <ul><li>RECOMMENDATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>The collection established in the field should be evaluated including other morphologic, agrononomic and chemical characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Additional germplasm should be collected and evaluated, especially from the Andean zone because of its high diversity. </li></ul><ul><li>Further studies are required to investigate environmental benefits and soil rehabilitation, and its use in agro-silvo-pastoral systems. </li></ul><ul><li>MATERIALS AND METHODS </li></ul><ul><li>In 2003, about 60 germplasm accessions were collected both on farm and in the wild from five selected regions of Colombia. </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers’ knowledge on biology, ecology and utilization was documented during the collection trips. </li></ul><ul><li>To assess patterns of diversity in this multipurpose tree: </li></ul><ul><li>Morphology of fruits and foliage was characterized; </li></ul><ul><li>Molecular markers (AFLPs) were applied. </li></ul><ul><li>RESULTS </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnobotany: Information on principal uses of the Calabash tree in five regions of Colombia was gathered. </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution: A wide range of adaptation was observed, not only in drought-prone zones as initially assumed, but also including even humid and flooded zones of the “Amazonía” region. </li></ul><ul><li>Propagation: A simple, low-input protocol has been elaborated for establishing plants in nurseries and in the field for small farmers and agroforestry systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Morphology: High morphological variability was found in the germplasm collected despite predominant vegetative propagation by the people. Eight major fruit forms were distinguished that varied markedly in shape and size, and were also related to different uses. Two forms dominated in all five regions surveyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Molecular evaluation: High genetic variability was found in the accessions collected. No correlation was found between genetic variation and geographic location of collection; neither with fruit form and size; nor with leaf morphologic characteristics. </li></ul>¹ Institut für Pflanzenbau und Tierproduktion in den Tropen und Subtropen, Grisebachstr. 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany. ² CIPAV (Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria), Cra. 2da.Oeste No.11-54, Cali, Colombia. Website: www.cipav.org.co <ul><li>CONCLUSIONS </li></ul><ul><li>The Calabash tree is a species with high genetic and morphologic variability, underutilized in Colombia with a high potential for silvo-pastoral programs in areas prone to drought or soil degradation. </li></ul><ul><li>Each region has a particular local knowledge of uses and handlings of the plant, which has been recovered and systematized. </li></ul><ul><li>This study will contribute to improve the conservation and use of this neglected species. </li></ul>INTRODUCTION The Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete L.: Bignoniaceae ) originates from tropical America, and is now widely distributed in the tropics. This small tree of multiple uses is neglected in research and development. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Ginés-Mera Memorial Fellowship Fund managed by CIAT (International Center of Tropical Agriculture) STUBE (Studienbegleitprogramm für ausländische Studierende an niedersächsischen Hochschulen) DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Orchids Chicken Bees Bonsai 1 Ap 3 Cu 2 Ob 6 Go-re 7 Go-al 4 Al 5 Gl 8 Re MORPHOLOGY MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION AFLPs VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION FIELD ESTABLISHMENT Andina region Caribe region Amazon í a region Orinoqu í a region Pac ífico region Outgroup ( Crescentia amazonica) Ornamental Crafts Support for animals + plants Animal feed Food container USES Collection of the Calabash tree CIAT Palmira Reserva Natural Pozo Verde-CIPAV Jamund í Geographic distribution of C. cujete L. Amazon í a Pac ífico Andina Orinoqu í a Caribe

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