The primary efforts in any wheat breeding program are the targeting of important traits and the detection of genetic diversity among different wheat genotypes in different environments. Hence to identify prominent traits in wheat lines in low altitude conditions of the bimodal humid forest zone of Cameroon, 38 wheat lines were characterized on the base of morphological traits. The field experiment was conducted in low altitudes conditions in 2016-2017. 18 morphological traits were scored on the 38 wheat lines sown following an incomplete alpha-lattice design. The result obtained revealed a high genetic variation among all the studied traits in this area. Correlation and path correlation analysis revealed overall positive influence of the glossiness of grains and grain color on the grain quality character. Factors analysis based on principal component analysis revealed 3 important factors with a cumulative variance of 40.3%. The first important factor F1, explaining 16.7% of the variance was composed of Plant habit (Phb), Tiller number (Tnu), Culm thickness (Cthic), and Spike density (Sde). The second factor (F2) explaining 12.4% of the variance was composed of Leaf angle (Lan), Glume color (Glco), and Spike density (Sde). The third factor (F3) explaining 11.2% of the variance was composed of Grain color (Gco), Grain quality (Gqu) and Glossiness of grain (GlGr). Thus, suggesting suitable characters for wheat breeding programs in this studied area. The determination of contribution of variance and cluster analysis studies allowed observing that the wheat lines SST835, Konstrad F2004- 1, Kenya2, SST843, SST806, Pfau4, Sup152-1 and Nd643-2 highly contributed to the variance in each factor with a high genetic dissimilarity among them. Thus, suggesting they may possess a high genetic polymorphism that could be further explored through molecular techniques for breeding programs.
Key words: Genetic traits, wheat line, breeding programs.
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