Exotic mulberry germplasm accessions were evaluated under tropical dry agro-climatic condition of India. Mulberry accessions showed great extent of variation in growth and yield traits. The analysis of variance revealed significant differences in all growth and yield traits. The interaction between accession x season was significant for all traits except number of branches per plant, total shoot length and Internodal distance. The coefficient of variation was maximum in leaf yield per plant followed by total shoot length and minimum in leaf moisture content. The relationship among different growth traits indicated that leaf yield is depended on number of branches per plant and total shoot length. The CIMMYT selection index was used to identify the best accessions studied in the experiment. The divergence analysis using R statistics grouped the accession into 7 clusters of which maximum numbers of accessions were in cluster IV and minimum in cluster V. Inter-cluster distance was maximum in between cluster V and VII whereas minimum in cluster IV and I. The intra cluster distance was higher in cluster VI and minimum in cluster V. The diversity among the accessions measured by D² values may be used for selection of exotic mulberry accessions for crop improvement.
Key words: Genetic diversity, mulberry, exotic germplasm, yield traits, cluster analysis.
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