This study was designed to determine the accession series with the most outstanding characteristics and the interrelationships among the variables. It also evaluated variability among the principal components and determined sugarcane accessions studied with similar characteristics from forty sugarcane accessions. Twelve quantitative traits were selected for data analysis. Series C accessions exhibited the most desirable characteristics. Four groups (PC1, PC2, PC3 and PC4) emerged from the principal component analysis. The four components with eigen values greater than one accounted for 75.92% of all variability in the forty accessions. Strong positive correlations were observed between plant height and stalk height (r=0.89); relative leaf area and leaf width (r=0.84); relative leaf area and leaf length (r=0.76); internode thickness and leaf width (r=0.73); relative leaf area and internode thickness (r=0.64); relative leaf area and internode length (r=0.51). In addition, positive and significant relationships were observed in internode length and leaf length (r=0.58); internode thickness and length of scarious border (r=0.54); length of scarious border and leaf width (r=0.55). These characters have a direct impact on the yield of sugarcane. Based on the analysis, the above traits could be considered as useful characters in yield improvement.
Key words: Sugarcane, quantitative traits, characterization, principal component analysis (PCA), evaluation.
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