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  • 1 DEPARTMENT OF CROP/SOIL SCIENCE AND FORESTRY, RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA
  • | 2 DEPARTMENT OF CROP/SOIL SCIENCE AND FORESTRY, RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA
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An effective pollination system is an important pre-requisite for successful hybridization in any breeding programme. A field experiment was conducted between March 1998 and March 1999 at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt in a humid agroecological zone of Nigeria, to evaluate ten selected cassava clones for hybrid seed production efficiency after natural and artificial pollination. The time to 50% flowering and the number of pistillate and staminate flowers showed significant variation (P=0.05) in the study. More staminate than pistillate flowers were produced in all clones, at a ratio of 8:1= staminate: pistillate per clone. Hybrid seed production was significantly different (P=0.05) in the ten selected clones of cassava after natural and artificial pollination. Natural pollination was more effective as regards the rate of seed set (26.9 seeds on 0.056 ha-1, equivalent to 480.9 seeds ha-1) than artificial pollination, which produced 8.8 seeds on 0.056 ha-1 or a calculated equivalent of 156.3 seed ha-1. For optimal hybrid seed production, natural pollination using male sterile females and desirable male fecund parents, well arranged in the field to encourage effective natural cross-pollination, either by wind or insects, is suggested for increased hybrid seed production in a cassava breeding programme in a humid ecological zone of Nigeria.

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