A study with 20 soybean genotypes was conducted in 2015 and 2016 to determine the genetic variability, heritability and genetic advance for some agronomic and yield traits in some soybean genotypes for selection criteria in a breeding programme. The field experiments were laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) and replicated three times. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant variation among the genotypes indicating that the planting materials were genetically divergent from each other. The estimates of genetic variability showed that phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) were higher than the genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) for all the traits. Portraying the importance of environmental factors in the variations shown. High value of PCV and GCV were observed for traits such as plant height, number of leaves, number of pods and seed yield indicating the presence of sufficient genetic variation for selection in these traits. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance observed for plant height and number of pods suggests that selection could be effective for these traits.
Key words: Genetic advance, heritability, soybean, traits, variability.