Genetic diversity assessment with different methods and their comparison could provide complementary information for improvement and conservation programs. However, such information is not available for Ethiopian lentil landraces. To fill this gap, nine morphological traits and four ISSR primers were used on seventy Ethiopian lentil landrace accessions to study morphological and genetic diversity among the accessions, assess the correlation between phenotypic and genetic dissimilarities, and classify the accessions into groups based on both markers. Analysis of variance of morphological data showed significant (p < 0.01) differences among accessions for all traits. However, days to maturity and flowering, seed weight and plant height showed low phenotypic coefficient of variation. From principal component (PC) analysis number of seeds and pods, seed yield and number of secondary branch were included in PC1, whereas, days to maturity and flowering were dominant in PC2. Seed weight and number of primary branch were also dominant in PC3 and PC4, respectively. With regard to molecular analysis, accessions from Gonder, Shewa and Wello (with= 0.203, 0.174 and 0.162, respectively) showed moderate level of diversity. The average and overall diversity index values, respectively, were 0.145 and 0.264. The overall morphological and genetic dissimilarities ranged from 0.825 - 11.018 and 0.000 - 0.340 with average value of 3.921 and 0.125, respectively. The correlation () between morphological and genetic dissimilarity matrices was 0.28 (p < 0.001) indicating that either of the markers could be used for genetic diversity study. Cluster analysis based on morphological and molecular markers, respectively, revealed two and three major groups of lentil landrace accessions. The result of the present study would be useful for further collection and conservation, and improvement programs.
Key words: Clustering, correlation, genetic diversity, ISSR, lentil landraces, morphological variation, principal component.
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