Chenopodium quinoa Willd., is an interesting plant with a great adaptation to adverse environmental factors and exceptional nutritional qualities. It shows great genetic variation, which organization remains poorly documented. In Boyacá, there are few studies on the morphological characterization of cultivated materials, and there is no certified planting material, resulting that the farmers are planting a mixture of materials. Qualitative and quantitative descriptors and principal component and cluster analyses were used to characterize the structure of the intra-population phenotypic variation in Piartal quinoa materials grown in the Department of Boyacá. It was observed that the first two components, CP1 and CP2, explained more than 70% of the total observed phenotypic variation, and there was a significant contribution from all variables to the two components, except those related to the lower leaves, where P2, P3 and P4 presented defoliation and DP (CP2 and P6). The cluster analysis showed that the individuals of the Piartal were grouped mainly by morphological characteristics associated with plant height, panicle length, pigmented axillae, and leaf characteristics. Results showed that the variance in morpho-phenological traits was concentrated at the intra-population, due the high variation at the inter-individual level. A more efficient selection process should be carried out to find "pure" varieties.
Key words: Andean culture, genetic diversity, improvement, morphological descriptors.
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