The variability of growth patterns and capacity to resist to environmental stresses that exists in populations of Coffea canephora Pierre ex Froehner makes it possible to select genotypes for different types of cultivation conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the monthly growth rate as a criterion to measure the genetic diversity of genotypes and to estimate the direct and indirect effects of the monthly growth rate, by path analysis, over the length of orthotropic stems. The experiment followed a randomized complete block design, studying 10 genotypes of C. canephora Pierre ex A. Froehner, with four replications and six plants per experimental plot. The magnitudes of the direct and indirect effects observed in the path analysis are consistent indicatives that the growth rate during recovery months, in the peaks after periods of slower growth, is highly important to determine the length of the stems during the final of the season. There is a considerable level of similarity between the growth of genotypes from the same group regarding ripening cycle; however, the high variability makes possible to identify genotypes from different behaviors regardless of the group.
Key words: Conilon coffee, orthotropic stems, genetic parameters, variability.
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