Assessment of Variability of Foxtail Millet [Setaria italica (L.) Beauv.] GenotypesKandel, Manoj .; Gurung, Suk .B; Dhami, Narayan .B; Shrestha, Jiban .;
Analysis of genetic diversity and variability is an initial step for crop development in a plant breeding program. Thirty foxtail millet genotypes were evaluated for their ten agro-morphological traits viz. grain yield, days to heading, days to maturity, plant height, leaf length, leaf width, number of nodes per tiller, panicle length, thousand-grain weight, and leaf blast during April to August season of 2018 at Kabre, Dolakha, Nepal. Clustering was done based on variability observed among the genotypes for all the ten traits by the average linkage method. The genotypes were grouped into six clusters. The shortest inter cluster distance between Cluster I and Cluster II was 17.63 and the longest was between Cluster IV and Cluster VI with 47.55. Cluster I had the maximum leaf blast score with the minimum leaf length. The Cluster II had the maximum grain yield and days to 50% heading and the number of nodes per tiller. The Cluster III was characterized by the maximum leaf length and leaf blast value. The genotypes grouped into the Cluster IV were characterized by the lowest value of days to 50% heading and 80% days to maturity and those of Cluster V had the maximum thousand-grain weight. The genotypes categorized into Cluster VI had the maximum plant height, leaf length, and panicle length. Cluster II and Cluster V were good because of their agro-morphological traits. The presence of a high level of diversity among the genotypes indicated their suitability for selection in crop breeding programs. Correlation analysis of genotypes having the maximum panicle length leaf area and higher plant height and shorter maturity period are pre-requisite for improvement in grain yield.
KeywordsCluster analysis, diversity, Foxtail millet, grain yield
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