Genetic Variation in a Safflower Germplasm Grown in Rainfed Cold Drylands
ABSTRACT The main breeding objective in growing field crops under rainfed condition is the selection for high performance lines. Traits that are correlated with grain yield may be useful for indirect selection. Genetic variation and correlations for eight agronomically important characters were studied across 45 selected exotic and indigenous safflower pure lines in the Dryland Agricultural Research Institute during two consecutive growing seasons. There was a considerable variation with regard to all characteristics under study in the spring planting. The observed range for plant height (cm), average number of heads per plant, days to flowering, average number of seeds per head, 100 seed weight (g), grain yield (kg ha-1), oil percent and the ratio of kernel to hull were, 61-86, 5-16, 116-134, 10-66, 3.1-5.2, 211-1117, 21.4-31.7 and 0.74-1.44, respectively. Correlation studies indicated that only the average number of seeds per head has a significant positive relationship with grain yield. However, there was a negative significant correlation between grain yield and days to flowering. Genetic gains may be achieved in the future by augmenting number of seeds per head, while increasing earliness of safflower in cold drylands of Iran should also have a beneficial effect on grain yield.
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ABSTRACT: Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a minor crop well adapted to semi-arid regions. In Morocco, a breeding programme has been launched recently in order to develop adapted varieties with high agronomic and technological potential. In 2006, a total of 212 accessions from different origins were collected and evaluated in 2 different locations for agronomic and technological characters. From this set, 181 accessions achieved successfully their growth and development cycle. The results of this study showed that a large variability existed between these accessions for the spinelessness, the height of plants, the earliness, the branching, the resistance to leaf rust, the thousand seed weight (TSW), the seed yield per plant and the oil content. Also, the location and the accession x location interaction effect was significant. The vegetal material exhibited, for all traits, highest potential in favourable environment (Allal Tazi) than in less favourable one (Douyet). The genotypes with high seed yield per plant were also characterized by a high TSW and were, in general, early flowering, dwarf and spiny. The genotypes having elevated seed oil content were those that had small seeds often associated with reduced hull. The accessions have been grouped into 5 pools on the basis of the most interesting traits: seed yield per plant, seed oil content, spinelessness, earliness and resistance to leaf rust. The nature and the composition of such pool should be confirmed after assessing the accessions for one more year. Selected genotypes from each pool will be used as elite parents in our safflower crossing programme. Introduction Even though safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L) is an old crop well adapted to semi-arid regions, it still remains a minor and underutilized oilseed crop. In 2005, world safflower acreage was around 814,000 ha, which constitute less than 0.5% of total area planted by oilseed crops (FAO, 2006). In Morocco, safflower cultivation was initiated in 1965 by planting 20 ha and the highest acreage ever registered was 3342 ha reached in 1990. After 1992, the safflower crop was abandoned for industrial, commercial and technical reasons. Seed yield and oil content remained very low due to the lack of performant varieties and poor management techniques used by farmers. The safflower selection programme in Morocco was initiated in the 60's at INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research). This programme was abandoned in the beginning of the nineties of the last century. The first breed Moroccan variety was Zitghani, developed in 1972 (Rohrmoser, 1975). Later, the selection work carried out by a private company led to the release of two new varieties, Cartafri (spiny type) and Cartamar (Spineless type), which were registered in 1999 (Hossini, 2002).