A field experiment was conducted to study the genetic variability and association of characters among yield and yield-related traits in castor accessions at Melkassa, central rift valley of Ethiopia during the off season of the 2013/2014. A total of 48 castor accessions were evaluated by using randomized complete block design with three replications. Analysis of variance revealed that there was highly significant difference among the accessions for most of the characters studied. For all traits, phenotypic coefficient of variation was highly higher than genotypic coefficient of variation; this indicates that there was environmental influence on these traits. Those characters which brought high heritability and genetic advance including the moderate one indicate that these characters could be improved through selection easily. Seed yield had positive and significant phenotypic and genotypic association with number of capsules per plant (NCP), number of seeds per plant (SP), number of primary branches per plant (PB), number of secondary branches per plant (SB), length of inter node (LIN), and number of inflorescence per plant (NIP). Oil content (OC) had positive and significant genotypic correlation with seed yield.
Key words: Ethiopia, castor (Ricinus communis L.), correlation, genetic variability, oil content.
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