Anchote (Coccinia abyssinica (Lam.) Cogn.) is a tuberous root crop grown mainly in western and south western parts of Ethiopia for its edible root and tender leaves, in order of importance. Though anchote is underutilized, it has nutritional, socio-cultural and socioeconomic importance for the growers. Assimilate distribution in root and tuber crops to the reproductive parts affect the expected yield and quality of tubers and/or roots. Regardless of this fact, most growers practically leave fruits to grow until the harvest of the roots, diverting the photosynthates. However, there is no research attempt made so far that assess the effect of flower bud removal on anchote growth and root yield. Therefore this research was conducted at DZARC field in 2011/2012 with the objective of assessing the effect of flower bud removal on growth and yield of roots of different anchote accessions. The experiment consisted of two factors vis-à-vis Factor A: anchote accessions (90801, 220563, 240407B, 240407G, 90802, 223090, and Kuwe) and Factor B: flower bud removal (with and without removal). A 2x7 factorial arrangement was laid with RCBD and replicated three times. Data pertaining to growth yield and yield component parameters were collected and analyzed using SAS statistical package with 9.2 versions (SAS 9.2 version Institute Inc., 2008). As per the results, internode length, percentage of ground cover and leaf area were highly significantly (p<0.01) affected due to accession. Flower bud removal treatment increased internode length and leaf area by 1.97% and 6.69% respectively. Highly significant (p<0.01) differences were observed in respect of root yield, root weight per plant, root length, root diameter and root number per plant among accessions. With this, accession kuwe had highest root yield (94.37t/ha) as compared to the rest of accessions. Flower bud removal treatment increased root yield, weight per plant, length and diameter by 15.87, 15.24, 5.21 and 7.99 in percent respectively. The study revealed that flower bud removal had a pronounced effect on growth and root yield of anchote and accessions differed significantly for all parameters examined. Accession kuwe is the best from the rest of the accessions. In general, this research put imperative information pertinent to the influence of developing fruits on the main consumable part, the root.
Keywords: anchote accessions; flower bud removal; yield; growth