Genetic divergence analysis in Plantago germplasm
Plantago is an important medicinal plant valued for its seeds and husk which are used in indigenous medicine, all over the world. An investigation was carried out to assess the genetic divergence among 49 accessions of Plantago, comprising four species. Highly significant differences were noted for all nine economic traits indicating the existence of considerable genetic diversity. The germplasm could be grouped into six clusters and immense diversity among the accessions was indicated by the wide range of D² values (2.487 - 7178.147). The cluster pattern was also confirmed by the canonical analysis. Panicles/plant was the highest contributor (25.21%) followed by panicle length (14.84%), whereas swelling factor was the lowest contributor (2.68%) to divergence. Five accessions were identified to be best either in panicle length, seed yield, husk yield or swelling factor. Three accessions were identified for dual preference and one for multiple preferences of economic traits and can be exploited for commercial cultivation.
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