GENETIC VARIABILITY AND CHARACTER ASSOCIATION FOR OIL CONTENT AND ITS COMPONENT TRAITS IN INDIGENOUS AND EXOTIC ACCESSIONS OF BASIL (OCIMUM BASILICUM L.)Y.P. Singh, Dinisha Abhishek, Pradeep Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Ravi Kumar and S.S. Gaurav
Basil is a culinary herb that produces essential oils used for various economical, medicinal and aromatic purposes. Field experiments were conducted during two consecutive years (2007 to 2009) at research farm of Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut, India to screen thirteen accessions of basil for high oil content. The analysis of variance revealed presence of considerable amount of variability in morpho-metric traits studied. High heritability accompanied with moderate genetic advance was recorded in case of inflorescence number, dry herb yield and fresh herb yield. Genotypic and phenotypic correlation coefficients analysis revealed that oil content was significantly correlated with fresh herb yield and dry herb yield, plant height with number of branches, leaf area, inflorescence number, inflorescence length and dry herb yield at both the levels. Chlorophyll content was also associated positively with oil content but only at genotypic level. The path coefficient analysis indicated that the highest direct contribution to the oil content was made by fresh herb yield followed by leaf length, leaf area and inflorescence number. Cluster analysis suggested that certain accessions (EC- 388788 and EC- 338785; EC- 388887 and EC- 338785; IC- 370846 and IC- 369246) were quite distinct and may be used in the crossing programme for genetic improvement of basil.
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