Genetic Diversity, Trait Relationship and Path Analysis in Eggplant Landraces
In eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) significant genetic variability occurs in land races. They retain a number of distinctive features of plant breeding importance with enough diversity for further improvement. Land races can express good resistance and/or tolerance to some biotic stresses. This work was done to examine the variability of land races. Genetic divergence D2 analysis identified 33 eggplant genotypes that could be grouped into 3 clusters. The maximum inter-cluster distance was between clusters I and cluster III. Genotypes belonging to these clusters may be utilized for hybridization for crop improvement. Fruit yield per plant, total phenols content, fruit width, ascorbic acid content, fruit circumference, number of long styled flowers per plant and days to first flowering contributed most of the genetic divergence. On the basis of inter-cluster distance and cluster mean values, local genotypes EP 11, EP 17, EP 20, EP 23, EP 27, EP 29, EP 30 were superior. Correlation analysis indicated that fruit width, number of long styled flowers per plant, fruit circumference, fruit length, numbers of fruit per plant and average fruit weight were positively, and significantly, correlated with fruit yield per plant. Path coefficient analysis indicated that plant height, number of branches per plant, fruit length, fruit circumference, number of fruit per plant, and average fruit weight had high positive, direct, effects on fruit yield. A low direct effect occurred for internodal length. Selection among genotypes can increase improvement in fruit yield and component characters.
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