Phenotypical Variation and Characterisation of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Varieties

N. Krishnapillai, R.S.W. Wijeratnam


Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a member of family Anacardiceae and the genus Mangifera
belongs to the order sapindales. Mangifera species consists of 69 species and only two
species are found in Sri Lanka. M. zeylanica is endemic and wild while M. indica is a
cultivated species in Sri Lanka. Diversity of mango varieties is rich in northern part of Sri
Lanka. However, characterisation of mango varieties in field is a difficult task. Thus this
study was designed to identify and characterise mango varieties in field and provide
identification keys with most useful morphological traits. 18 grafted mango varieties
including popular „Karuthakolumban‟, „Willard‟, „Ambalavi‟ and „Chembaddan‟ with 54
mango accessions were selected for preparation of identification keys. Selected leaf and
inflorescence characters to prepare identification key were; colour of immature leaf, leaf
shape, leaf margin, inflorescence axis colour, flower colour and number of petals in the
flower (tetramerous, pentamerous or hexamerous) while selected fruit morphological traits
were; fruit skin colour, skin texture, skin thickness, fruit shape, weight, size, stalk insertion,
beak type and stem end cavity. Identification keys were prepared based on the mango
descriptors listed by IPGRI (2006).

Two types of key were prepared based on the variation of the qualitative parameters. First
key was prepared using leaf and inflorescence characters while fruit characters were used in
the second key. Due to these keys, mango varietal identification in the field is feasible and it
will be helpful to local mango growers, researchers and breeders. This method of
identification and characterisation is a low cost, cheap and efficient tool compared to
molecular techniques and therefore it is suitable for developing country like Sri Lanka.
Validity of the key has been subsequently evaluated in the field and it was found validity is
consistent due to the uniform environmental conditions of dry zone.

Keywords: Mango varieties, Leaf, Inflorescence and fruit morphological traits, Identification

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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura