Knowing plant traits and their contribution to genetic diversity is key to identify favorable genotypes and breed new cultivars. This article aims to describe and quantify the genetic divergence between soybean cultivars grown in the Cerrado in southwestern Piauí, Brazil, and identify favorable genotypes for hybridization. To do this, 13 soybean cultivars were grown in the region and assessed concerning vegetative and reproductive performance traits. Randomized block design was adopted, with four replications. Genetic divergence was determined by using the generalized Mahalanobis distance procedure, the Tocher’s optimization method, and the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Under the conditions analyzed, the Tocher’s method and the UPGMA grouped the cultivars in a similar way. Genetic variability enabled the identification of dissimilar genotypes, and leaf area, thousand-seed weight, and pod length were the traits providing greater contribution. Hybridization between the cultivars Pampeana 10 RR x FT Campo Novo RR, BRS Sambaíba, M9350, M9144 RR, P99R03, or P99R09; between M8766 RR x Pampeana 20 RR, Pampeana 30 RR or P99R09; and between P99R09 x Pampeana 20 RR or Pampeana 30 RR showed to be favorable in order to obtain segregating populations with higher variability.
Key words: Glycine max (L.) Merril, agronomic performance, cluster analysis, parental selection.
Copyright © 2024 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0