Association of linseed characters and its variability in different environments
Associations of characters were studied in linseed using data of 60 accessions evaluated in a randomized complete block design with three replications under glasshouse and field conditions during 2000 and 2001. The main objectives were to determine the magnitude of correlations between yield and its components under variable environments, and identify stable and major yield attributes that could support further improvements of linseed productivity. The degree of character association varied considerably across years and locations, due mainly to climatic factors (e.g. temperature, moisture levels, etc.) and disease incidences. However, seed yield per plot was significantly (P<0·01) and positively associated with seed yield per plant, 1000 seed weight and bolls per plant across environments. These three yield attributes were also strongly and positively correlated with plant height, branches per plant, days to flowering and maturity. Oil yield was significantly and positively associated with polyunsaturated (linoleic and linolenic) fatty acids, whereas it was negatively correlated with saturated (palmitic and stearic) fatty acids. Oil yield also had a weak positive relation with monounsaturated oleic acid. The quality of linseed oil, which is dependent on the levels of these fatty acids, can be influenced by the correlated responses of these variables in reaction to different environmental factors. Thus, knowledge on the causes and effects of these correlated responses are necessary to undertake sound and effective selection programmes.(Received February 11 2003)
c1 Email: Labuscm@sci.uovs.ac.za
p1 Present address: Department of Plant Science (Plant Breeding), UFS, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, Republic of South Africa.