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Journal of Applied Genetics 45(1), 2004, pp. 49-59

Correlations and heritability of the characters determining the seed yield of the long-raceme alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Zbigniew BODZON

Abstract: Phenotypic correlation coefficients and heritability of the characters controlling seed yield of long-raceme forms of alfalfa was determined. It was found that seed yield per plant, which was positively correlated with 10 out of 12 analysed characters, depended upon the number of pods per raceme and the number of seeds per pod. Variability of these characters determined about 60% of the variability of seed yield. Multiple linear regression and phenotypic correlations show that simultaneous selection for increased pod number per raceme and increased seed number per pod and raceme length resulted in enhanced seed yield potential. The share of the additive genetic effects in the phenotypic variance for number of pods per raceme was low and about 21-23%, while for number of seeds per pod and per raceme amounted to about 50%. The expected genetic progress in recombination breeding for number of seeds per pod and number of seeds per raceme will be of medium magnitude, while one cannot expect any rapid and considerable progress in the number of pods per raceme. Considering the high positive correlation between raceme length and number of pods and seeds per raceme, one should conclude that raceme length can be an important criterion in selection of plants showing a high seed productivity.

Key words: alfalfa, correlations, heritability, long raceme, multiple regression, seed yield.

Correspondence: Z. BODZON, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute, Radzikow, 05-870 Blonie, Poland; e-mail:

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