Genetic diversity study in germplasm lines of foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) Beauv)
The present investigation was carried out with the objective to find out the extent of genetic variability for six yield component traits in 49 indigenous genotypes of foxtail millet. Analysis of variance showed highly significant differences for all the characters studied. Based on the D2 analysis, the genotypes were grouped into five clusters. Maximum number of genotypes were grouped in cluster I (28 genotypes) followed by cluster III (11 genotypes) whereas the remaining genotypes fall under cluster IV (6 genotypes) and cluster II and V had two genotypes each. The maximum inter cluster distance was observed between the cluster III and IV (27.96) followed by cluster I and III (24.39). The intra cluster distance was maximum in cluster V (17.59) followed by cluster III (16.18) which indicated that hybridization involving genotypes within the same clusters might result in good cross combinations. Regarding the cluster means for six characters, cluster III had the maximum cluster mean for plant height (104.68), ear width (1.06) and yield (2493.03) followed by the cluster II for the number of tillers (19.67) and the number of productive tillers per plant (16.50). The results revealed that the maximum contribution of quantitative traits towards genetic divergence was single plant yield (93.62 %) followed by the number of tillers per plant (2.23 %) and ear head length (1.45 %). Therefore, these yield component traits might be considered during the selection process and adjudged as important criteria for the selection of parents during hybridization programme.
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