Morphological Traits Defining Breeding Criteria for Coastal Quinoa in Chile
AbstractCoastal/lowland quinoa ecotype is an important source of germplasm due to its cultivation in cold-temperate and high latitude areas. However, the interaction of its morphological traits and yields to define breeding criteria is unknown. The present study was designed to characterize the phenotypic diversity of twelve coastal/lowland quinoas using sixteen standardized morphological descriptors under rainfed conditions in central Chile. Complementary analysis of uni- and multi- variate tools allowed a fuller understanding of interrelationships within quinoa germplasm. Through the analysis of frequency distribution, it was possible to determine that genotypes were characterized by plants having low height and medium grain yield. Cluster analysis revealed that plant morphological variables were independently grouped from grain yield components. Additionally, principal component analysis (PCA, 74.8% of total variation data), revealed the existence of three outstanding genotypes (QC01, QC02 and QC05) that were distantly located from the average dispersion of entire germplasm collection. These genotypes were associated with grain yield components, allowing the identification of two groups of high yield (VI and VII), which yielded 3337.7 and 3052.0 kg ha-1, respectively. The data set presented in this study is the first report of coastal/lowland quinoas assessed in central Chile and could assist the development of breeding programmes in cold-temperate areas having similar agro-climatic conditions.
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