Lawrent Pungulani

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Science)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Exploring the genetic potential of locally adapted germplasm for drought tolerance: A case for cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata (L.) Walp) from Malawi

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Production of cowpea in Malawi is adversely affected by prolonged droughts partly due to effects of climate change. Lack of improved cowpea varieties for production in drought prone areas contribute to low yields in Malawi. Mr Punguani evaluated local cowpea germplasm in glasshouse and field experiments as a first step of identifying potential drought tolerant genotypes for use in future drought tolerance breeding programmes. In addition to the glasshouse and field experiments, the local germplasm was subjected to farmers'' selection for the identification of farmers'' accepted varieties. Findings showed the presence of genotypes which performed well under moisture stress condition in both glasshouse and field conditions. However, the most drought tolerant genotype was not readily accepted by farmers due to wrinkled seedcoat. Genotypes with drought tolerance and other desirable attributes should be used as parental lines in the National Cowpea Breeding Programme.

Dr James Millner
Dr Vaughan Symonds
Professor Warren Williams