Taxonomy laboratory, Department of Botany, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong-22, India.
Receive Date: 21 August 2015,
Revise Date: 31 July 2016,
Accept Date: 25 September 2016
The species of Dioscorea (yam) are regarded as a staple food crop for millions of people in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is regarded as an important food crop next to cereals and grains due to high yield storage of carbohydrates. Economically, only few species are recognized for cultivation from agricultural point of view, in spite of its large species diversity. The species of Dioscorea also represents great morphological variability in nature. However, very little research has been done on it. Hence, in the present study, an attempt was made to establish genetic variability and relationships among 50 accessions of Dioscorea spp. growing naturally in Meghalaya. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for the first nine components indicates 91.5% observed variability. Morphological characters or traits with discriminating values were stem color, leaf type, number of leaflet in compound leaf, leaf color, leaf shape, inner petal shape, staminode absent or present, length and width of mature leaf. Agglomerative Hierarchical Cluster Analysis clearly separated the 50 accessions based on their close association.
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