Society of African Journal Editors

Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Variability and trait relationships among finger millet accessions in Uganda

Authors: L Owere, P Tongoona, J Derera, N Wanyera

Journal: Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Finger millet ( Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn]) is a vital component in the farming systems of many parts of Uganda with limited information on variability, heritability and trait association in the country. The objective of this study was to assess the variability, heritability and trait association of finger millet to determine the genetic potential for future use in breeding programmes. A total of 100 accessions were evaluated for morpho-agronomic characters in a 10 x 10 lattice design at NaSARRI and Ikulwe in Uganda for two seasons. Analysis of variance revealed mean squares of the genotypes were significant for all the traits, with days to 50% flowering showing the least coefficient of variation and the highest leaf blast severity. Heritability estimates ranged from 7.39% for threshing percentage to 68.4% for head blast severity; whereas values of expected genetic advance varied from 2.00 to 79.9% for threshing percentage and head blast severity, respectively. High heritability and genetic advance estimates were exhibited for head blast severity, head blast incidence, productive tillers plant -1 and grain yield. When the significant correlations were decomposed by path analysis, it revealed that, in determining yield, the most important traits were grain mass head -1 , tillering ability and reaction to head blast disease. Overall the result revealed existence of high variability for the traits studied in the finger millet accessions which can be utilised in genetic improvement. Keywords: Eleusine coracana , head blast, heritability