Assessment of collected materials of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl) Gray in the center-western region of Cuba


An experiment was conducted for two years through a completely randomized design and 10 repetitions under dry conditions to study the
growth of 29 materials of Tithonia diversifolia collected in the center-western part of Cuba. Without affecting the plants growth and after the
plantation cut of each season, the number of sprouts of the original stem, sprout height of the original stem (m), sprout width (mm), height
of the first leaf (cm), number of flowers, number of green, yellow, fallen and total leaves were determined. They were all made every 15 d for
16 weeks. The multivariate analysis showed that, in the rainy season, 81.16 % of the variability is explained, while 94.34 % is in the dry
season. Total, green, yellow, dried and fallen leaves/plant and stems/plant were the most preponderant variables, all of them with positive ratio. During rain fall, the two conglomerates of higher values in the indicators measured showed that in the main component leaf, as well as in the main component structure, are in the materials 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 22, 23, 24 and 26 (group 1). This may indicate that in this period the measures are similar. However, there was another group where leaf highlighted, recording in the materials 14, 17 and 29 (group 3), and in the structure in 4, 13, 19, 21, 25 and 27 (group 2). In the dry season, they highlighted in both components, the materials classified as 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 (group 1) and 29 (group 4). In this period, there are no materials away from this common pattern of the plant indicators measured, representing 68.9 % of the total of the materials collected. In the rainy season, group 3 had the highest values of development and the numbers for the stem width (7.3 mm), number of flowers/plant (152) and number of fallen leaf/plant (414) were indicated as non-desired aspects. In the dry season, group 4 had the highest values for all measures. This is not always positive for indicators such as number of fallen leaves (558) and height of the first green leaf (52 cm). It was reported, for the firs time, about the development characteristics of the collected materials of Tithonia diversifolia in different regions of Cuba. The variability found could be strategically used in further programs of varietal improvement. This shrub tree could also be used in silvopastoral systems.
Key words: assessment, Tithonia diversifolia

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