American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Morphological Characterization and Variation in the Total Content of Reducing Sugars in Wild Populations of Agave angustifolia Haw

Martin Esqueda, Aldo Gutierrez, Guadalupe Palomino, Abisai Garcia-Mendoza and Teresa Terrazas

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2011.462.468

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 4

Pages 462-468

Abstract

Problem statement: Bacanora, a spirit, is distilled from wild populations of Agave angustifolia Haw. Loss of biodiversity must be taken into account when proposing sustainable management actions for this resource. In this study we identified the morphological variants of this species, as well as the weight and Total Content of Reducing Sugars (TRS) in the stem of the agave. Approach: Twenty-three morphometric variables were measured in three wild populations of A. angustifolia distributed along the western slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Sonora, Mexico. The relationship of plant weight to stem TRS was evaluated using multivariate analyses. Results: Canonical discriminate analysis explained 100% of the morphological variation with just two canonical variables (p<0.01) and the Mahalanobis distances support the finding of significant differences among the three populations. TRS content did not vary significantly among populations, but did differ between individuals (p<0.01). Cluster analysis then revealed eight groups of morphologically related plants. Conclusion: Based on this analysis and previous studies of genetic variability and cytogenetic on the same individuals, morphologically and genetically related groups of agave were detected and also had heavier stems and a higher TRS content. These plants can be considered the basis for the selection of germplasm.

Copyright

© 2011 Martin Esqueda, Aldo Gutierrez, Guadalupe Palomino, Abisai Garcia-Mendoza and Teresa Terrazas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.