VARIATION AMONG AGRONOMIC TRAITS AND MINERAL CONTENTS IN 15 ACCESSIONS OF GARDEN EGG PLANT (Solanum aethiopicum) IN SOUTHWEST OF NIGERIA
Keywords:S. aethiopicum, Heritability, Genetic, Phenotypic variability, Mineral content
Throughout Africa, S. aethiopicum is very popular and plays a vital role in many human diets. Despite the fact that there are previous reports on yield characteristics and nutrition of the crop, there is a need to assess the crop for variations in mineral properties. This study aimed at determining the amount of genetic variability and level of heritability of agronomic and mineral contents of S. aethiopicum accessions. Fifteen accessions of S.aethiopicum were evaluated in an RBCD experimental design to generate data for use. Data were collected for agronomic, morphological and mineral contents. Data collected were subjected to ANOVA and the significant means were also separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at 5% probability level. Variance component method was used to estimate phenotypic and genotypic variations as well as heritability. Significant differences were observed among accessions for the various morphological and mineral nutritional traits evaluated. High heritability estimates, Phenotypic and Genotypic variances were observed for mineral content and fruit yield. Genotypic and phenotypic variances ranged between 0.31 and 11078.85 for the agronomic traits. The hierarchical cluster analyses revealed five distinct clusters at similarity index of 85%. The first cluster included 6 accessions; the second included accessions NHS 101A, and OG 03; the third were NHS 104 and OG 01; the fourth included NHS 105; and the fifth included NHS 106, NHS 108, OS 02 and OS 03. Accessions OS 01 and OS 03 appear unique based on the traits for which the accessions were assessed.This study revealed that substantial variation exists within the accessions of S.aethiopicum evaluated, hence, it will help in breeding process of good quality genotypes for higher yields and mineral content.
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