Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.) is one of the most underresearched crops with respect to characterization of genetic resources and genetic enhancement. A total of 95 germplasm lines representing global collection were evaluated in two rainy seasons at Almora, Uttarakhand, India for qualitative and quantitative traits and the data were subjected to multivariate analysis. High variation was observed for days to maturity, five-ear grain weight, and yield components. The first three principal component axes explained 73% of the total multivariate variation. Three major groups were detected by projection of the accessions on the first two principal components. The separation of accessions was based mainly on trait morphology. Almost all Indian and origin-unknown accessions grouped together to form an Echinochloa frumentacea group. Japanese accessions grouped together except for a few outliers to form an Echinochloa esculenta group. The third group contained accessions from Russia, Japan, Cameroon, and Egypt. They formed a separate group on the scatterplot and represented accessions with lower values for all traits except basal tiller number. The interrelationships between the traits indicated that accessions with tall plants, long and broad leaves, longer inflorescences, and greater numbers of racemes should be given priority as donors or parents in varietal development initiatives. Cluster analysis identified two main clusters based on agro-morphological characters.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.