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Comprehensive phenotypic and statistical based analysis of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.) lines for parental line selection

Chandra Sekhar Akila, Palakurthi Ramesh, Gurulakshmi Kola, Mallikarjuna Gunti, Puli Chandra Obul Reddy, Jayanna Naik Banavath


Minor millets are the small-grained cereals that belong to family Poaceae, with local importance as a food source but are often called as underutilized plant species. Foxtail millet is one among the oldest cultivated small diploid, C4 Panicoid, with short life cycle, and inbreeding nature. The genetic diversity of the foxtail millet is important for breeding systems, geographical distribution studies, and assist in conservation of genetic resources for high yielding varietal development in breeding programs, expansion of the genetic base and for identification of genes for various phenotypic traits. Keeping in view of this an attempt has made to develop pure lines from local farmers preserved populations and phenotypically characterize them along with four released cultivars. A total of eleven farmer’s varieties and four released cultivars were evaluated for seven quantitative traits in complete random block desing at net house conditions. The maximum coefficient of variation was observed for panicle exertion, followed by number of tillers/plant and panicle weight. High positive significant correlations was observed for Plant height, panicle length, panicle weight and total seed weight with other traits under study. Panicle exertion exhibit negative correlations with panicle length, panicle weight and no of tillers. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) explains variability of 95.43% in the fifteen genotypes for the traits under study that corresponds to first 4 Eigen values with greater than 0.60. The proportions of the total variance explained by the first 4 principal components (PCs) were 42.98%, 71.02%, 85.43% and 95.43% respectively. Wards method based genetic similarity or dissimilarity clustering based on seven morphological traits among the fifteen foxtail millet genotypes was able to separate and grouped them into 2 major clusters I and II. The genetic and phenotypic variability present in the foxtail millet genotypes give opportunity for plant breeders for effective selection of specific donor lines for foxtail millet improvement.


Setaria italica, Foxtail Millet, Farmer lines, Diversity

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