Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) is regarded as cereal of hope because of its role in subsistence agriculture, and source of food for millions of poor people in Africa alone. Knowledge of the nature and magnitude of variation existing in breeding materials, interrelationships between quantitatively inherited plant traits is great importance for effective breeding. Forty nine finger millet genotypes were tested at single location at Womberma, West Gojam Zone with the objectives of estimating the genetic variability, association among characters, and to estimate genetic divergence among the genotypes and clustering them in divergent groups. The experiment was conducted using simple lattice design with two replications. Results showed that genotypes had high values of genotypic and phenotypic coefficient of variation for effective tiller per plant, fingers per head, grain yield, biomass yield, lodging and blast severity. High heritability estimated was obtained for all of the traits ranged from 71.43 to 99.56%. Cluster analysis revealed that the 49 genotypes were grouped into nine clusters. Maximum and minimum intra and inter cluster distances was 6.12-16.33 and 17.08- 226.28 respectively. Principal component analysis indicated that three principal components explained about 68.07% of the total variation. Differentiation of the genotypes into different cluster was because of accumulative effect of a number of characters rather than small contribution of each individual character.
phenotypic variability, genotypic variability, genetic advance
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