PHENOTYPIC AND GENETIC VARIABILITY AND GENETIC DIVERGENCE IN LENTIL (Lens culinaris Medik.) GERMPLASM
Lentil is a leguminous crop which plays important role in both human health and agriculture. Lack of genotypic and phenotypic variability limits the scope of breeding for developing high yielding lentil varieties. In order to know the genotypic and phenotypic variability and diversity in lentil, research was carried out with 30 lentil genotypes following a randomized complete block design using three replications. Highly significant variability was found for all of the traits among the genotypes under study. The genotype ILL 4127 showed superior performance whereas ILL 2894 showed poor performance. The environment had great impact on the genotypes as the PCV (phenotypic coefficient of variation) was greater than the GCV (genotypic coefficient of variation). High PCV coupled with high GCV, heritability, genetic advance and genetic advance in percentage of mean was found for number of pods plant-1 and number of seeds plant-1. Thirty genotypes were divided into 5 clusters where cluster I and cluster V had the maximum inter-cluster distance, specifying the existence of wider genetic diversity among the genotypes of these clusters. Hence, suitable transgressive segregants might be found from crosses between genotypes of those clusters. Genetic diversity at molecular level was found 0.861 to 1.112 which indicated the existence of genetic variation within the studied genotypes. Microsatellite profiling revealed that SSR19 was the highly informative and detectable polymorphic marker followed by SSR48, SSR156, SSR33, SSR13 and SSR130. The results showed the consistency both in molecular and morphological clustering. The genotypes ILL 2894, ILL 3823, ILL 2764, ILL 3201, BM 680, ILL 2083, ILL 5103, ILL 4355, ILL 4707 and ILL 5844 were found as stable considering genetic variability and diversity under study. Therefore, these genotypes might be used as suitable breeding materials for developing advanced lentil varieties.