Morphological characterization of 40 rice accessions using 14 agro-botanical traits was done in a field experiment in an augmented randomized complete block design. The aim of the work was to study variations and to select lines that can be used as potential parents in a future breeding program. The single linkage clustering, the Principal Components Axes and a morphological dendrogram were used to group the accessions. Genetic relatedness among accessions based on random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular marker data was also presented in form of a dendrogram using the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Relative effectiveness of the RAPD markers and genetic diversity among accessions as revealed by botanical descriptors were compared. The single linkage cluster technique classified the 40 accessions into six morphological groups whereas the PCA re-ordered the accessions into four broad groups that had within cluster similarities and inter-cluster morphological variations. RAPDs were highly polymorphic, more discriminatory and informative as they were able to differentiate more pairs of accessions than the botanical descriptors. IITA rice accessions TOX 3052-46-3-3-2-1 and TOX 3027-44-1-E4-2-2 and Brazilian accessions (CL SELECCION 3B and 450) that performed better than checks could be selected for a future breeding program.
Key words: Accessions, morphological, phylogenetic diversity, polymorphism RAPD, rice, UPGMA.
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