In spite of its importance as food for humans and feedstuff for livestock, the yield of cowpea per hectare in Nigeria is still low. Improved varieties have been released to increase yield. This trend is gradually substituting local cultivars, which may lead to genetic erosion. This is undesirable because local cultivars and their wild relatives may have useful characters which are yet to be explored. The wild relative of cowpea, Dekindtiana var. pubescens, for example, is high-yielding with morphological characters that confer protection against insect pests. In this study, eleven cowpea landraces and their wild relative, Dekindtiana var. pubescens, were evaluated for growth and yield attributes in Bauchi, Northern Guinea Savannah Agro-ecology, with the aim of incorporating the desirable characters into future cowpea breeding programmes. The eleven cowpea landraces and their wild relative, making a total of 12 genotypes, were replicated four times in a randomized complete block design on a field in Bar-Arewa village in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Nigeria. The results of the study showed that the cowpea genotypes evaluated varied significantly (p< 0.05) in all the growth and yield attributes observed. Pod number per plant positively and highly correlated with height per plant (r = 0.93), number of leaves per plant (r= 0.95), number of branches per plant (r= 0.93), number of peduncles per plant (r= 0.92), but was negatively correlated with length of pod (r= -0.51). Seed yield per plant was positively correlated with hundred seed weight (r- 0.71), number of leaves per plant (r= 0.41), number of branches per plant (r= 0.42), number of peduncles per plant (r= 0.49), length of pod per plant (r= 0.41). However, hundred seed weight was negatively correlated with all the traits except the length of pod per plant (r = 0.78). It is, therefore, recommended that genotypes with longer pods, large seed size, high number of peduncles and pods and those with hairs on stems and pods be explored further for selection and incorporation into cowpea breeding programme for yield improvement.
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