Selection within Coffea arabica cv. Ruiru 11 for high cup quality
Gichimu, Bernard M.
Gichuru, E. K.
Mamati, George E.
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In recent years, consumer awareness about the quality of different coffees has increased and therefore production and supply of coffee with excellent quality attach more significance. As a result, many coffee producing countries include coffee quality assessment in their coffee variety development programmes. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the variation of cup quality traits and determine their associations with each other and with overall cup quality among the sibs of Coffea arabica L. cultivar Ruiru 11. In addition, the study targeted to select specific Ruiru 11 sibs with superior cup quality and wide adaptability based on assessment of 7 traits including fragrance, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, preference and their total score. Thirty four full-sib families representing this hybrid cultivar grown in three different agro climatic zones of Kenya were used for the study. Rainfall amounts during various phases of berry development were used to explain the differences observed in the discriminating abilities of the locations for cup quality traits. The results showed that Ruiru 11 sibs were highly variable in all the cup quality traits except body. Site variations were also highly significant and the sibs were best differentiated in the sites where moderate moisture stress occurred during bean expansion and filling stages. Genotype by environment (G × E) interactions, were observed for all the traits except body. A highly significant positive correlation was registered between all traits. The study also demonstrated the existence of a high variation in cup quality among Ruiru 11 sibs. The most widely adapted Ruiru 11 sibs were identified to be R11-52, R11-117, R11-131, R11-107, R11-121, R11-11, R11-137 and R11-22.