Local varieties of cowpea beans (Vigna unguiculata) are exposed to genetic erosion due to the introduction of commercial seeds. The aim of this study was to describe local germplasm of cowpea beans from Resex Alto Juruá and microrregion of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil. Two experiments were conducted either using the conventional agricultural system (in 2011), or in an alley cropping system (in 2012). The experimental was a randomized block design with nine treatments (cultivars) and three replicates per treatment. The plots were 12 m2 in size and rows were 0.45 m apart. Twenty qualitative and 21 quantitative characters were observed. The combined analysis of variance showed significant effects for genotype, agricultural system and for the interaction genotype/agricultural system. The qualitative trait with greater variation among genotypes were the commercial subclass according to the classification adopted by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, followed by grain color, immature pod pigmentation, apical leaflet shape, leaf color and pod curvature. The plant habit, twinning tendency, pod attachment to peduncle and the pod wall thickness did not show differences. Among the quantitative traits, days to flowering and number of locules per pod did not differ between cultivars. Mean values for pod length, peduncle length, number of pods per peduncle and number of pods per plant were low. However, the germplasm collected showed good agronomic traits such as earliness, appropriate plant architecture, and adaptation to floodplain cultivation.
Vigna unguiculata ; germplasm; floodplain cultivation