There is low production of okra in Ghana due to lack of improved varieties and biotic constraints. This study was conducted to characterize okra genotypes to predict genetic variation in the crop. Field trial was conducted to determine genetic variability in 21 okra genotypes. The experiment was based on the randomized complete block design (RCBD) involving planting distance of 0.6 × 0.6 m. Thirty-one quantitative and qualitative data were used to generate a dendrogram. Variations in leaf shape, leaf rib colour, petiole colour, petal colour, colour of the darkest ridges and stem colour were distinctive among the okra genotypes. The mean plant height, canopy diameter, leaf length and breadth, petiole length, internode length, number of branches, days to 50% flowering and fruit yield differed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) among the 21 okra genotypes. These were discriminated into three clusters in a dendrogram with GH3731 as the most diverse. UCCC1, UCCC2, UCCC3, UCCC4 and UCCC5 appeared genetically similar with low fruit yield but early maturity. However, GH5332 had a significantly (p ≤ 0.05) the highest fruit yield of 11.88 t ha-1 but late maturing. UCCC5 or similar genotypes with early maturity trait can be hybridized with GH5332 to improve the yield and earliness.
Key words: Breeding, germplasm, genotypes, genetic diversity and hybridization.
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