GENETIC VARIABILITY, CHARACTER ASSOCIATION AND DIVERSITY ANALYSIS FOR YIELD AND QUALITY TRAITS IN RICE CULTIVARS FROM MANIPUR AND ASSAM
Rice, being a staple food of India, is crucial to enhance its productivity and quality. There are region-wise variations in ethnic preferences of rice. Hence, the study of these variations for quality traits present in different cultivated groups of rice from the region will help in the value addition of the crop. The present experiment was carried out to evaluate 41 rice cultivars from Manipur and Assam to access the genetic variability, correlation, path analysis and genetic divergence for yield and quality traits. The study was conducted in a Randomized Block Design with three replications. The analysis of variance on 24 yield, yield components and quality traits showed the presence of variability in the experimental material for all the characters. A high range of GCV and PCV were observed for the total number of grains per panicle, the number of filled grains per panicle, grain yield per plant, biological yield and harvest index. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance as per cent of mean was observed for most of the characters under study indicating greater transmissibility of these characters and selection can be done effectively based on these characters. Grain yield exhibited positive and significant association with days to 50 per cent flowering, days to maturity, panicle number per plant, the total number of grains per panicle, number of filled grains per panicle, 100-grain weight, spikelet fertility, biological yield, harvest index, panicle harvest index, grain breadth, kernel length, kernel breadth, kernel length after cooking and kernel breadth after cooking. Hence, these characters can be considered to set the selection criteria for increasing grain yield. Path-coefficient analysis revealed that kernel breadth after cooking exhibited the highest positive direct effect on grain yield. Based on Mahalanobis D2 statistics, the genotypes could be grouped into 12 clusters out of which cluster IV had the maximum number of genotypes followed by cluster V. Among all the characters studied, grain length exhibited maximum contribution towards divergence. Cluster X and XII showed the maximum inter-cluster distance and the maximum intra cluster distance was exhibited by cluster XII. Hybridization among the genotypes of these two clusters is presumed to produce better heterotic combinations.