Estimation of phenotypic divergence in a collection of Cucumis melo from Kerala State, Southern India


A collection of melon (Cucumis melo L.) from Kerala state, Southern India, consisting of thirty three accessions was evaluated for 22 quantitative and 14 qualitative characteristics to estimate the phenotypic diversity. The collection showed appreciable phenotypic diversity in fruit related traits. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to determine the relationships among the populations. The analysis revealed that the variations in stem hair length, number of nodes per plant on 60th day, fruit shape, fruit length, fruit weight, fruit colour at ripening, fruit rind hardness, flesh colour, flesh firmness, quality of flesh, shelf life, seed colour were the principle characters to discriminate melon accessions evaluated in the present study. When the 33 populations were plotted on the first two principal components, accounting for 49.97% of the total variation, three clusters were identified, accounting for 36 morphological attributes used in the study. The greater part of diversity was accounted for fruit diameter, fruit weight, fruit length and width, fruit cavity length and diameter, seed length and colour. Flesh area of fruit, flesh thickness, leaf size, seed weight, seed index did not account for variation in the first six principal components of the melon collection. Scatter diagram segregated the acidulus and momordica into different clusters. This evaluation of fruit trait variability can assist geneticists and breeders to identify populations with desirable characteristics for inclusion in various breeding programmes.

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Koli, S. and Murthy, H. (2013) Estimation of phenotypic divergence in a collection of Cucumis melo from Kerala State, Southern India. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 21-31. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.47A004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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