Linseed is the only cultivated species from the genus Linum and selection is the most frequently used method to develop varieties from the crop resulting in the reduction of the genetic diversity. Linum bienne Mill. is genetically more diverse than linseed and produces fertile hybrids with linseed. The author aimed for the development of hybrids with new combinations of genes useful for variety development programme. Morphological characters of parental, F1 and F2 hybrid plants were studied in field and cluster analyses, coefficient of variations (CV) and Nested analysis of variance (NANOVA) were used for the analyses. Cluster analyses from combined quantitative and qualitative characteristics were more powerful in grouping genotype. Selfed F2 hybrids scored the highest CV for all characteristics and seed-weight (20.36%). The degree of boll shattering was different among hybrids. F2 hybrids scored more phenotypic classes from seed coat colour. The differences in seed length and 1000-SW among the groups were significant (P = 0.017 and 0.033, respectively). Except for the differences in seed length, all the mean value differences in quantitative characteristics among sub-groups within the group were significant (P < 0.01). The result showed that the hybrids would be important populations to develop varieties for different traits. There was dragging of unwanted parental characters to hybrids due to a linkage. Assisting the process of crossing with markers associated with a trait would help to minimize the dragging of unwanted characters into hybrids.
Key words: Linum bienne, Linum usitatissimum, crop wild relative, segregation, crossing.
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