This research work is a part of NOVOD, Board sponsored project entitled “National Network on Integrated Development of Wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca)”. The experiments were conducted to study the genetic variability-cum-diversity for seed and seedling characters among 25 half-sib families of Prunus armeniaca L. collected from different coordinates/locations of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Seeds of 25 candidate plus trees were collected and graded to constitute seed lots of different candidate plus trees (CPT). After the dimensional measurements for fruit, seed and kernel characters, part of the seeds from seed lots of each family/CPT were analyzed for oil content estimation. Part of the constituted seed lots of each family/CPT were sown in open field environmental conditions in the nursery following randomized block design (RBD), with a view to assess the expression of genetic diversity using non-hierarchical Euclidean cluster analysis. Intercrossing of divergent groups would lead to greater opportunity for crossing over, which releases hidden variability by breaking linkage. Candidate plus tree progenies were grouped into six clusters under open field environment. Inter-cluster distance was found to be highest between cluster II and VI, revealing their genetic closeness from high to medium. On the basis of inter and intra cluster distance cluster no. II and VI may be considered as diverse and can be utilized for hybridization when selecting genotypes for breeding purposes. Fruit length followed by fruit breadth and seedling height contributed maximum to the total divergence and played a prominent role in creating the genetic diversity.
Key words: Oil content, variability, cluster, genetic divergence, Prunus armeniaca.
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