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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 609 - 612

Effects of Soil Texture on Vegetative Growth of the Tropical Legume Marama Bean (Tylosema esculentum)

I.S. Travlos and A.J. Karamanos    

Abstract: Marama bean (Tylosema esculentum (Burch.) A. Schreib) is an under-utilized perennial tropical grain legume of southern Africa, which produces protein-and oil-rich seed and tubers of relatively high protein and carbohydrate content. Glasshouse-grown marama plants were grown in four different soils and measurements of several growth parameters were taken during all the experimental period. Vegetative and tuber growth and production of the plants grown in the clay and the clay loam soil were significantly restricted and therefore they have to be avoided. On the contrary, well drained light sandy soils seem ideal for marama growth and establishment. This study revealed the beneficial effect of good aeration and drainage on growth and dry matter production of marama. The careful selection of such a soil texture is crucial for a sufficient tuber growth and further establishment of T. esculentum, in order to ensure plant survival under extensive drought conditions, as long as the tubers clearly act as water reservoirs (tuber water content about 85-90%).

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