Exploring variability and genetic diversity among rice genotypes in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
The genetic improvement of any crop mainly depends on the amount of genetic variability present in the population. To explore this variability, an effort was made to classify, understand the nature and magnitude of genetic variability and diversity among 112 rice genotypes for 16 quantitative traits using Mahalanobis D2 statistics. Analysis of variance revealed a wide and significant variation for all the 16 traits studied. A slight difference between PCV and GCV was found, suggesting that genetic control of traits is higher than environmental influence. Characters such as harvest index, days to first flowering, days to 50% flowering, and plant height showed high heritability coupled with high genetic advance as per cent of mean suggesting that selection for the improvement of these traits may be rewarding. Cluster analysis indicated that the 112 rice genotypes were grouped into 7 clusters, wherein cluster I had the highest number of genotypes (73) followed by cluster III with 22 genotypes. The maximum inter-cluster distance was recorded between clusters V and VII with a D2 value of 58981.07, followed by clusters II and V (51875.13). The number of spikelets per panicle (52.17%) and the number of grains per panicle (27.26%) were found to be the most contributing traits towards total genetic diversity. Hence, information on the nature and degree of divergence would help the plant breeder in the selection and hybridization procedure for choosing the right type of parents to improve yield and other traits.
Key words: Genetic diversity, Heritability, Mahalanobis D2, Rice, Variability.
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