, Volume 41, Issue 1–2, pp 147–162 | Cite as

The pattern of genetic diversity in the Andean grain crop quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd). I. Associations between characteristics

  • J. C. Risi
  • N. W. Galwey


A germplasm collection comprising 294 accessions of quinoa was evaluated at Cambridge, England, to assess its potential as a break crop for arable agriculture at temperate latitudes. The origins of the accessions ranged from 40°S to 2°N and from sea level to an altitude of 3800 m, and 19 discrete and continuous characteristics describing the plants' pigmentation and morphology and the duration of developmental phases were noted or measured. There was significant variation among accessions for all the continuous characteristics, and the plant and inflorescence dimensions were all fairly strongly correlated, but the associations between the durations of developmental phases were surprisingly weak, suggesting that there is great scope for manipulation of the pattern of development through breeding. Contingency tables revealed associations between pairs of discrete characteristics. The means and variances of many continuous characteristics differed according to the discrete characteristics: for example accessions with branched plants took longer to germinate and were more variable in this respect than those with unbranched plants. Sometimes one form of a discrete characteristic was associated with a homogeneous group of accessions but the alternative form was not: such a relationship would be easily lost in a multivariate analysis. On the basis of there relationships, and using knowledge of the accessions' origins, they were classified into seven groups. It is concluded that the plant characteristics required for temperate agriculture are present to a large extent in the accessions from near sea level in southern-central Chile, but that the seed characteristics are scattered throughout the germplasm.

Key words

Chenopodium quinoa quinoa Andean crops germplasm evaluation genetic diversity linear models 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Risi
    • 1
  • N. W. Galwey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied BiologyUniversity of CambridgeUK

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