Diversity of castor (Ricinus communis L.) in Ethiopia
An experiment was carried out to assess the diversity of castor germplasm in Ethiopia. A total of 102 accessions, one elite genotype and two standard varieties were characterized at Melkassa and Arsi Negelle, in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia using 12 traits for one during 2013 main season. Analysis of variance, principal component and cluster analysis was performed for the combined data. The result showed that there is tremendous phenotypic variability for agronomic and morphological traits of castor among the tested accessions. For some traits such as 100 seed weight, wider variation was observed compared to the entire USDA germplasm collection. In this study the accessions were clustered in two five classes with cluster V having only one accession. Principal component analysis indicated that PC1 contributed 79% of the variation and capsules per plant and seeds per plant constituting the most to variation among accessions. In this study, number of capsules and seeds per plant were the two most important yield component traits to be considered in the future breeding program.