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Patterns of Phenotypic Variation in a Germplasm Collection of Carthamus tinctorius L. from the Middle East

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Phenotypic diversity was assessed for quantitative and qualitative traits in a salt-tolerant subset of the international safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) germplasm collection originating from 11 countries in three regions (Central Asia, Southwest Asia and Africa) of the Middle East. Phenotypically, the germplasm, among and within regions, was highly variable, especially for rosette- and yield-related traits. Frequency of desirable variants of seven agronomically important traits ranged from 14% for long rosette period to 50% for no or few spines. Level of population differentiation was high for number of capitula per plant (30%), whereas most traits partitioned their diversity (82-87%) within populations. Region-specific nonrandom associations among sets of qualitative traits and the existence of broad morphological and phenotypic diversity in this germplasm were supported by the large number of log-linear models needed to describe qualitative trait associations, the high number of principal components needed to account for total variability, and the low discriminatory power of phenotypic traits among germplasm from regions and countries in the Middle East. These results suggest that adaptation of the species to the wide spatial and temporal variation in the Middle East resulted in a multitude of ecotypes and in enormous amount of local variation. A multivariate selection criterion for high biological and seed yield, long rosette period and no or few spines identified five accessions from Southwest Asia that can be introduced into subsistence farming systems as a multipurpose crop under saline agriculture.
Jaradat, A.A. , Shahid, M.
Includes references
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2006 Mar., v. 53, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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