Direction of association among β-carotene, grain yield and its component traits in RIL population of pearl millet
Pearl millet grain is nutritionally rich and contains higher protein content than many other cereals. Besides protein, pearl millet grains also contain sufficient amount of β-carotene. β-carotene is a precursor for vitamin A biosynthesis. Hence genetic biofortification of β carotene in pearl millet, will have a profound effect on human nutrition in Africa and India. Towards this objective, an experiment was conducted with two hundred RILs (F6) which were developed from the cross PT 6029 (0.059 µg/g) × PT 6129 (2.417 µg/g) for β-carotene to ascertain the information of magnitude and direction of association among β-carotene, grain yield and its component traits in pearl millet. The study indicated that, number of productive tillers per plant, earhead length, earhead girth, single earhead weight, single earhead grain weight, 1000 grain weight, chlorophyll content and β-carotene recorded highly significant and positive genotypic correlation with grain yield per plant during summer, 2013 and kharif, 2013. Correlation coefficients are helpful in determining the component of a complex trait like yield, they do not provide an exact picture of the relative importance of direct and indirect influence of each of the component characters towards yield. Path coefficient analysis furnishing the cause and effect of different yield components would provide better index for selection rather than correlation coefficients. In the present investigation, Number of productive tillers per plant, single earhead weight, single earhead grain weight, 1000 grain weight, chlorophyll content and β-carotene content recorded positive direct effect on grain yield per plant in both seasons viz., summer, 2013 and kharif, 2013. This showed simultaneous improvement of this trait through single selection programme.
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