Characterization of Some ex situ Conserved Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana (L.)) Germplasm Accessions in Sri Lanka

PN Dasanayaka


Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) is a highly nutritious and important food crop widely cultivated in the arid and semiarid regions in the world. Therefore it is worthy to be subjected to crop improvement programs. Germplasm collection and characterization are preliminary and important steps in crop improvement programmes. This study was conducted to characterize randomly selected 24 finger millet germplasm accessions conserved at the plant Genetic Resource Centre, Gannoruwa, Sri Lanka using 14 quantitative characters. The maximum positive and significant coefficient of variation was observed between weight of grain per ear and weight of sun dried ear. Phenotypic correlation between weight of grain per ear was highly significant and positively associated with days to flowering, flag leaf width, flag leaf length, plant height, culm thickness, finger length, finger width, days to maturity and weight of sun dried ears, flag leaf width, flag leaf length, plant height, culm thickness, finger length, finger width, days to maturity and weight of sun dried ears. The principal component analysis revealed that the first five component with Eigen values greater than 0.87 contributed about 85.5% of total variability. The twenty for finger millet accessions grouped in to four main clusters in the cluster analysis. Results of cluster analysis could be used in the crop breeding and conservation programmes.

KEYWORDS: Finger millet, germplasm accessions, genetic diversity, principal component analysis, quantitative characters

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International Journal of multidisciplinary Studies, University of Sri Jayewardnepura, Sri Lanka