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Genetic variation in Baobab (Adansonia digitata) in Kordofan, Central Sudan J. Gebauer', K. El-Siddig' and G. Ebert? ‘Agricultural Research Corporation, Gezira Research Station, Wad Medani, P.O, Box 126, Sudan “Dept. of Fruit Science, Humboldt-University Berlin, Albrecht-Thaer-Weg 3, 14195 Bedlin.G jany Baobab (Adansonia digitata |.) is widespread throughout the hot, drier regions of tropical Africa. The multipurpose species has numerous non-medicinal and medicinal uses. The fruit pulp is used in preparing drinks and is also eaten fresh. Despite its wide distribution, very little is known about the genetic variation of the baobab. In the pre: were collected from trees at different locations in Kordofan in ant study, 2004. After the collection the fruit weight, the weight of the fruit shell and fibres, the fruit length, the fruit circum ferenct nd the weight of 1000 seeds were measured: and the number of seeds per fruit was counted. ‘The results clearly indicate that there is a considerable variation in the fruit shape and size among trees. In general four main fruit types can be distinguished: sharply-ovoid, banana- like, “4 ob! >. Mean fr he ng wweigin, duit length, fruit circumference, and the number of seeds per fruit differed significantly between trees. Differences were also identified in fruit \d pulp colour. However, on each investigated tree only one fruit shape was found and the variation of the fruit size was very low. Differences in growth appearance and time of leave shedding among different trees were also observed. In conclusion the considerable tree-to-tree variation in the baobab species indicates a high potential for selecting or breeding of cultivars. ‘Table 1: Tree-to-tree variation in fruits of 4. digitata (A: average fruit weight in g, B: average fruit length in cm, C: average fruit circumference in cm, D: average percentage of pulp per fruit, E: average number of seeds per fruit, F: weight of 1000 seeds in g). fruit shape B c D E F sharply-ovoid =U ia nanaene> NUNN 2 IEEE (= Eas banana-like B 7 18 19 59 455 globose 346 15 41 21 307 540 oblong-cylindrical 178 15 195 375 We are grateful to the ‘Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’ for awarding a Feodor Lynen ‘ellowship to Dr. Jens Gebauer. BHGL ~ Tagungsband 24/2005 S.104