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Morphological characterization of local and introduced finger millet (Elusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) germplasm in Sri Lanka

Authors:

W. M. R. Kumari ,

Field Crops Research and Development Institute, Mahailuppallama, LK
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D. K. N. G. Pushpakumara,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About D. K. N. G.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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W. M. W. Weerakoon,

Ministry of Agriculture, Rajamalwaththa Road, Battaramulla, LK
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D. M. J. B. Senanayake,

Department of Agriculture, Gannoruwa, LK
About D. M. J. B.
Plant Genetic Resource Center
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H. D. Upadhyaya

Institute of International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, IN
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Abstract

Finger millet, a self-pollinated cereal crop with high nutritional value, is grown in arid and semiarid tropics. Plant Genetic Resource Center of Sri Lanka conserves 462 local and introduced finger millet (Elusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) germplasm accessions. A total of 139 accessions were morphological characterized using 14 quantitative characters during two seasons in late Maha 2016 and Maha 2016/17 at Field Crops Research and Development, Institute, Mahailluppallama. The highest variability was observed in grain yield, panicle exertion, weight of 20 mature ears, number of productive tillers and length of the longest finger. Correlation analysis showed that the grain yield was significantly and positively correlated with the number of productive tillers, weight of 20 mature ears, threshing ratio and panicle exertion. However, the grain yield was significantly and negatively correlated with flag leaf width and 1,000 grain weight. Hence, these traits can be used for selecting germplasm for improvement. The Principal Component Analysis showed that the first six principal components with eigenvalue greater than 0.8 have contributed to 78% of total variability. Eight different clusters were formed in cluster analysis based on first six principal component scores. Two major clusters (1 and 3) were consisted with 55% of total accessions. The main traits contributed to separate genotypes into different clusters were grain yield, weight of 20 mature ears, days to 50% flowering and 1000 grain weight. The Sri Lankan finger millet germplasm collection exhibited the similar variability with global finger millet germplasm collections. Hence, the variability shown in characterization can be used effectively for finger millet improvement in Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Kumari, W.M.R., Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Senanayake, D.M.J.B. and Upadhyaya, H.D., 2018. Morphological characterization of local and introduced finger millet (Elusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) germplasm in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 29(2), pp.167–183. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v29i2.8287
Published on 29 May 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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