Diversity analysis of moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) genotypes using DUS descriptors
Moringa is a crop with wide variability and is known as the miracle tree due to its application in various fields as food, medicine, plant growth stimulator and animal feed because of its nutritional, pharmacological, biotechnological potential. Understanding the genetic potential of the crop helps in the exploitation of existing variability in breeding programmes. Tamil Nadu, being the state pioneering in moringa cultivation with diverse genotypes, a total of 32 genotypes collected from different regions of the state were selected to study the variability in order to identify best performing genotypes. Principal component analysis for the selected 25 morphological characters elucidated that nine principal components with eigenvalue more than one accounted for 83.59 per cent of the total variability and also revealed that maximum variation was exhibited by the number of pods per cluster, the number of pods per branch, anthocyanin colouration in petiole, pod shape, pod length and plant growth habit whereas remaining traits exhibited low variability. Based on Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering and PCA the genotypes CBE MO 1, CBE MO 13, CBE MO 19, CBE MO 28 and CBE MO 29 were identified as the most diverse genotypes.
Key words: Moringa, PCA, cluster, variability, DUS, descriptors
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