African Journal of Agriculture

African Journal of Agriculture ISSN 2375-1134 Vol. 7 (7), pp. 001-005, July, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of benzyladenine (BA) on fruit set and mineral nutrition of morula (Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra)

O. G. Moatshe*, V. E. Emongor and O. Oagile

Crop Science and Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Botswana, Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana.

Accepted 23 June, 2020

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of benzyladenine (BA) on fruit set and mineral nutrition of morula (Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra). Benzyladenine was applied when the fruitlets were 8 to 10 mm in diameter at concentrations of 0, 50, 100 or 150 mg/l. Application of BA to morula fruit trees significantly (p < 0.001) reduced fruit set of morula trees by between 48 to 67%. Morula tree sprayed with BA had significantly higher leaf and fruit mineral content than control trees. The fruit calcium (Ca) (p < 0.05), magnesium (Mg) (p < 0.05), nitrogen (N) (p < 0.01) and potassium (K) (p < 0.001) increased significantly with increasing BA concentrations. The results showed that BA can be used as a chemical agent to reduce crop load and improve the morula tree mineral uptake and mineral partitioning to the leaves and fruits.

Key words: Sclerocarya birrea subspecies caffra, benzyladenine, fruit set, mineral content.