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Evaluation of phenotypic variation in a worldwide germplasm collection of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) grown under organic farming conditions in Germany

Abstract

An investigation was conducted to determine the extent of diversity and relationships among a worldwide safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) germplasm collection and to find out adapted accessions that can be used in an organic safflower breeding program in Germany. A total of 468 accessions was studied under organic farming conditions at Kleinhohenheim experimental station during the seasons of 2004 and 2005. All the accessions were evaluated for 12 phenotypic traits and three rated diseases. Multivariate analyses have been used to measure the diversity in a subset of 200 accessions and 11 geographical regions. Generally, the study showed that there was a large genetic variation within accessions. A coefficient of variation (CV%) for investigated traits and diseases ranged from 2.9 to 91.0% with the highest CV was recorded for yield/m², yield/plant and seeds/plant. The most accessions that originated in Europe revealed relatively better performance compared to non-Europeans. High yielding, early maturing, and disease tolerant accessions were identified. However, the low oil content (8.7–22.8%) is the primary concern in this germplasm collection. The degree of heritability varied between 10% for lodging to 86% for plant height. Genotypic coefficient of correlation (r g) was slightly higher for many traits than the respective phenotypic coefficient. Oil content and seed yield/m² were highly significantly correlated (r g = 0.78). The genotypic coefficient of correlation showed that selection for seeds/plant and thousand kernel weight was effective for improvement of seed yield and oil content. The results of the principal component analysis and the clustering pattern of accessions were consistent with the results of analysis of variance. About 78% of the total phenotypic diversity in the germplasm was explained on the basis of four principal components and 88% of the total variation among geographical regions was contributed by the first three principal components. The distribution of the accessions within clusters has no apparent relationship with the geographical origin. However, many of the European accessions have a tendency to stay together.

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Acknowledgments

We are here highly appreciating and acknowledge the financial support provided by Pfister foundation, Bern, Switzerland. We also wish to express our sincere gratitudes to Mrs. M. Schnieder and Mrs. A. Richter for their technical assistance in the course of this study.

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Correspondence to E. Elfadl.

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Elfadl, E., Reinbrecht, C. & Claupein, W. Evaluation of phenotypic variation in a worldwide germplasm collection of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) grown under organic farming conditions in Germany. Genet Resour Crop Evol 57, 155–170 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-009-9458-7

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Keywords

  • Accessions
  • Carthamus tinctorius
  • Germplasm
  • Organic farming
  • Phenotypic diversity
  • Safflower