Morphological characterization of Desmodium dichotomum germplasm collected from eastern Amhara (Ethiopia)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Animal Sciences, Agriculture, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

2 Department of Animal Sciences, Wollo University

Abstract

This study was conducted to morphologically characterize and cluster 26 germplasm entries of the native legume, Bouffordia dichotoma, collected in eastern Amhara (Ethiopia) for eventual selection of promising lines as forage crops. For the characterization of the entries the IBPGR descriptors list was used and data were analyzed using R software. Cluster analysis was conducted to help to understand the genetic diversity within the collection and to group similar entries. The resulting dendrogram showed 3 distinct groups of entries: Group 1 with 12 entries; Group 2 with 6 entries; and Group 3 with 8 entries. Group 1 was significantly different (p <0.05) from Groups 2 and 3 in terms of days to first flower, terminal leaflet length, terminal leaflet petiole length, length of inflorescence and plant height, as well as emergence, establishment, vigor, flowering and maturity. Leaf color of Groups 1 and 2 was light green while that of Group 3 was green. While most entries had semi-erect growth habit, those in Group 3 were prostrate or trailing. Three distinct types of seed coat colors were observed with Group 1 including dark brown, light brown and yellow, while Groups 2 and 3 were yellow only. Further studies are needed to determine how the various entries and groups perform in terms of biomass yield, nutritional quality and seed yield.

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