Assessment of Genetic Variability in Mid-altitude Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Collection of Ethiopia

The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic variability and character association in 81 Ethiopian mid-altitude sesame accessions based on important agronomic traits.

The study was conducted using a 9 x 9 Simple Lattice Design (SLD) with two replications.

Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre Ethiopia, during the major cropping seasons of July through December 2011.

Methodology: Using SAS 9.2 statistical software, the data on 14 quantitative traits were analysed for phenotypic and genotypic coefficients of variances, heritability and genetic advance, correlation coefficient, path coefficient analysis, principal component analysis, and divergence analysis based on Mahalanobis statistics to evaluate the pattern and extent of variation among 81 mid-altitudinal individuals. For all traits tested, analysis of variance showed major differences between genotypes. Many of the traits tested had less than 50% heritability. Most yield-related traits had moderate heritability and moderate to high genetic advance, suggesting that these traits are regulated by both additive and non-additive genes. The number of capsules, biomass yield, harvest index, and 1000 seed weight all showed a strong positive relationship with seed yield. Number of capsules, biomass yield, days to maturity, and harvest index had the greatest positive direct impact on seed yield, indicating that these traits can be used to boost the primary trait by selection. The genotypes were divided into seven groups based on divergence analysis using Mahalanobis statistics. The geographical distribution of genotypes was not taken into account. Cluster V and VII had the greatest inter-cluster gap, so genotypes from these two clusters could be used as parents in a hybridization programme to produce promising recombinants. Conclusion: There was ample genetic variability in the germplasm lines for seed yield and its components. Clustering was not linked to geographical distribution; rather, genotypes were clustered primarily based on morphological differences. The highest contributors to genetic divergence were seed yield, biomass/plant, harvest index, and number of capsules. These traits may be used in a sesame improvement programme to boost yield.

Author (s) Details

Mohammed Abate
Department of Plant Science, College of Dry-land Agriculture, Samara University, Afar, Ethiopia.

Firew Mekbib
Department of Plant Science, Haramaya University, College of AES, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

Amsalu Ayana
Integrated Seed Sector Development Ethiopia Program, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mandefro Nigussie
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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