Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 47 (3) Mar 2005     Research Article

Variation in the Agronomic and Morphological Traits of Iranian Chickpea Accessions

Mohammad Reza NAGHAVIŁ¬Mohammad Reza JAHANSOUZ

Abstract

Landraces of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) in Iran have not been adequately characterized for their agronomic and morphological traits. Such characterization would be helpful in the development of improved cultivars, so in this study 362 chickpea accessions, collected from the major chickpea growing areas of Iran, were evaluated to determine their phenotypic diversity. High coefficients of variation (CVs) were recorded in pods/branch, seeds/pod, yield/plant, seeds/plant, pods/plant and branches/plant. Using principal component (PC) analysis, the first four PCs with eigenvalues more than 1 contributed 84.10% of the variability among accessions, whereas PC5 to PC10 were less than unity. PC1 was positively related to days to first maturity, days to 50% flowering and days to 50% maturity. The characters with the greatest weight on PC2 were seeds/plant and yield/plant, whereas PC3 was mainly related to pods/plant, seeds/pod and 100-seed weight, and PC4 was positively related to pods/branch and negatively to branches/plant. The germplasm was grouped into four clusters using cluster analysis. Each cluster had some specific characteristics of its own and the cluster I was clearly separated from clusters II, III and IV. These accessions are an important resource for the establishment of a core collection of chickpeas in the world.
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