K. SHAMINI*, K. N. GANESAN, T. EZHILARASI AND B. MEENA KUMARI
Department of Forage Crops, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-641 003
*(e-mail : email@example.com)
(Received : 12 February 2022; Accepted : 29 March 2022)
Guinea grass (Panicum maximum Jacq.), which is originated from Africa, was introduced to India. It plays a major role in livestock productivity due to its higher biomass and shorter duration. In considering the livestock productivity, intensive research on guinea grass was initiated and up on exploration from different parts of India, a total of 150 genotypes were conserved. Out of which, 75 germplasm accessions were studied to assess their genetic diversity for various biometric traits viz., plant height, number of tillers, leaf length, leaf weight, leaf stem ratio and green fodder yield. The analysis of variance was highly significant for the traits plant height, number of tillers, leaf length, leaf weight and green fodder yield which revealed the presence of genetic variability among the 75 genotypes. By using the tocher method of genetic diversity analysis, 75 genotypes were grouped into 15 clusters, thereby indicating the greater genetic diversity in the explored genetic materials. The numbers of genotypes were more in cluster 1 which consists of 29 genotypes followed by cluster 3 and 5 which includes 13 and 11 genotypes respectively. The inter cluster distances were greater than the intra cluster distances, which indicates that the genotypes selected for breeding from different clusters will be genetically diverse. The intra cluster distance were more in cluster 14 followed by 8 and 5. The genetically more divergent genotypes were present in cluster 15 and 3 as evident from the inter cluster distance value of 8.75. It is concluded that an intensive selection applied on the genotypes selected from divergent clusters would enable the breeders to develop guinea grass varieties with enhanced green fodder yield and quality.
Key words: Guinea grass, Diversity, Tocher method