STUDIES ON GENETIC VARIABILITY AND DIVERGENCE IN CAPSICUM FOR FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY TRAITS IN NORTH- WESTERN HIMALAYASManeet Rana, Rajnish Sharma, Parul Sharma, Sat Vrat Bhardwaj, Sandeep Kumar, Navjot Singh Brar, Manish Sharma and Rajesh Dogra
The greater the genetic diversity in the germplasm, greater is the chance of success in breeding of desirable types. The present finding was aimed to study the genetic variability and divergence among 24 Capsicum annuum L. genotypes using morphological characters. Different parameters of variability viz., coefficient of variability, genetic gain, heritability and genetic divergence with respect to nine morphological characters were taken onto consideration. Statistical analysis revealed significant difference among capsicum genotypes, which indicates the presence of significant variation among all the traits. The phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) values was higher than genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) indicating close association between phenotype and genotype for all the traits. High heritability estimates coupled with high genetic gain was observed for fruit yield per plant, which reveals that this character is under additive gene effects and thus more reliable for effective selection. A wide genetic diversity was grouped into three clusters based on D2 statistics. The diversity among the clusters was measured by inter-cluster distance. Based on principal component analysis (PCA), the genotypes ACC-2 and EC-579997 resulted in highest cum positive and negative values, respectively in all the principal components as well as they fall under different clusters as revealed by D2 statistics. Thus, it is revealed from both the studies that these genotypes are major contributors to genetic divergence in the available germplasm and may be used in cross breeding programme for the genetic improvement of capsicum.
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