Variability, correlation and path coefficient analysis of seedling traits and yield in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
Indirect selection is a useful means for improving yield in cotton crop. The objective of the present study was to determine the genetic variability, broad sense heritability, genetic advance and correlation among the six seedling traits and their direct and indirect effects on cotton yield by using path coefficient analysis. Thirty cotton genotypes were studied in green house using randomized complete block design with 3 replications at Cotton Research Station Multan, Pakistan. The genotypes exhibited a wide range of variability for all the traits except shoot length. Moderate to high heritability estimates were found for all traits. All the seedling traits showed positive and significant correlation with cotton yield both at genotypic and phenotypic level. Path coefficient analysis showed that root length had the highest and positive direct effect on cotton yield. Positive direct effects were produced by shoot length, root length, shoot/root length ratio, shoot weight and root weight, while shoot/root weight ratio had negative direct effects. The information obtained from the current studies will be utilized in successful cotton breeding program.
Key words: Genetic parameters, seedling traits, selection criteria, cotton.