GENETIC DIVERGENCE IN GLADIOLUS (GLADIOLUS HYBRIDUSHORT.) GENOTYPESSripada Swetha, Balaji S.Kulkarni, Mukund Shiragur, M.S. Kulkarni, MahanteshaB.N.Naik,Ravindra Mulge and Laxminarayan Hegde
Genetic diversity is the first and important parameter in crop improvement programme. In the presentinvestigation forty gladiolus genotypes were assessed to know the nature and magnitude of geneticdivergence using Mahalanobis D2 statistics. The population was grouped into four clusters. The averageweight of cormels, daughter corm diameter, average weight of daughter corm, days to corm sprouting,floret diameter and number of cormels per plant components were found main parameters contributingtowards divergence and played dominant role in the improvement of gladiolus quality. Based onMahalanobis D2 analysis, forty gladiolus genotypes were grouped into four clusters with maximum of 36genotypes in Cluster I. Remaining three clusters II, III and IV are solitary indicating their independentidentity and importance due to various unique characters possessed by them. The highest inter cluster D2value was recorded between clusters III (Copperking) and IV (Arka Kesar). Cluster I showed maximumintra cluster diversity. Therefore selection for divergent parents based on these traits is recommended forgetting desirable hybrids or segregates in Gladiolus.