The aim of the study was to assess the agromorphological diversity of 150 local sorghum varieties collected from 13 villages of the North region of Burkina Faso, in order to understand the dynamics of diversity and to identify interest gene pools for varietal improvement. The varieties were characterized from 2017 to 2018 at INERA Saria Research Station in the North-Sudanian zone (700-900 mm of rainfall). The experimental design was an alpha lattice with three repetitions. Twenty-four qualitative and quantitative traits were used to assess the local sorghum. Seven qualitative traits of the panicle were allowed to identify four main botanical races and two intermediate races: guinea (86.0%), caudatum (6.7%), bicolor (0.7%), durra (0.7%), guinea-caudatum (2.0%) and durra-bicolor (4.0%). The anthocyanin varieties were predominant (99.3%) like those with white pericarp (62.7%). The highest variances were observed with cycle length and the weight of 100 grains as well between varieties as in each village; these two traits were the most heritable (h² = 90). The local sorghum varieties were structured into three groups by hierarchical cluster analysis on the basis of cycle length, grain weight, stem height, leaf length and 100-grains weight. The group of short cycle varieties (69 days) with short stem height and better 100-grains weight is the most productive. Therefore, this group is particularly interesting for varietal improvement.
Key words: Sorghum, local varieties, agromorphological variation, botanical race, cycle, heritability.
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