Morphological Diversity of Wild Coffee (Coffea kihansiensis) a Potential Coffee Species for Genetic Improvement

Paul M Kusolwa, Faraja Makwinja, Jackson Nashon, Mayomba Marianna, Amina Kibola


Coffee belongs to the genus Coffea in the Rubiaceae family, and is mostly grown in the tropical and subtropical regions. The Coffea genus comprises 103 species, of which Coffea arabica L. (Arabica coffee) and Coffea canephora P. (Robusta coffee) are the two most important commercial species. C. Arabica is a commercially important high quality coffee with low genetic diversity, while C. canephora is cultivated mostly in the northwestern region of Tanzania. Of recent, a discovered wild coffee (Coffea kihansiensis) in Tanzania may be a genetic resource for improvement of cultivated coffee.  Morphological descriptors from accessions evaluated in different sites at Kihansi wild coffee gardens were carried out using the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). This work presents morphological diversity of the wild C. kihansiensis and elucidating traits for domestication and genetic improvements of coffee.  
Keywords: Wild coffee, Diversity, Caffea kihansiensi

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