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Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources
Year : 2011, Volume : 24, Issue : 2
First page : ( 186) Last page : ( 193)
Print ISSN : 0971-8184. Online ISSN : 0976-1926.

Genetic Diversity Studies in Indigenous Pearl Millet [Pennisetum glauccum (L.) R. Br.] Accessions Based on Biometrical and Nutritional Quality Traits

Govindaraj M1,*, Selvi B1, Kumar I Sudhir2

1Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-641 003, Tamil Nadu

2Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad-500030, Andhra Pradesh

*Author for Correspondence: E-mail: m.govindaraj@cgiar.org

Received:  24  July,  2010; Revised:  12  November,  2010; Accepted:  10  January,  2011.

Abstract

The aim of this research was to study genetic divergence among the pearl millet [Pennisetum glauccum (L.) R. Br.] accessions obtained from Millet Breeding Station, Coimbatore and clustering them into homogenous groups based on yield components and nutritional quality traits for the hybridization programme. Genetic divergence analysis was done based on multivariate analysis using Mahalanobis's D2 statistics. The experimental material consists of 61 elite germplasm lines grouped into eight different clusters based on yield components, nutritional and anti-nutritional traits. The maximum divergence with high mean performance was observed between clusters II, V and VII. Hence, hybridization between the genotypes of these clusters may exhibit high heterosis as well as high level of production and quality. Zinc content contributed maximum to the genetic divergence followed by phytate phosphorus and crude fat content. The result Indicate that, presence of ample variation for grain zinc in pearl millet germplasm can be exploited for further improvement of pearl millet cultivars with respect to grain zinc content. The low contribution to genetic divergence by other characters may be due to precedent domestication and selection towards uniformity for yield characters. The presence of signifi cant genetic variability among the evaluated germplasm accessions suggests that, variability can be exploited for improvement of grain nutritional quality and yield traits through hybridization of genotypes from different clusters and subsequent selection from the segregating generations.

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Keywords

Cluster distance, Genetic divergence, Germplasm accessions.

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