The study of trait correlations can allow the identification of occurrence, intensity and direction of associations between characters, providing information to elect the most correlated to the phenotypic performance of main chemical composition components in caryopsis of oat genotypes (Avena sativa L.). Thus, this study aimed to estimate the correlation between traits of chemical composition of caryopses in oat cultivars grown in different environments. In the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons, 15 cultivars were grown in Augusto Pestana, Capão do Leão and Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, following the randomized block design with four replications, with 3.0 m2 plots. Eleven characters related to chemical composition of caryopsis were evaluated. For the set of environments, the phenotypic, genetic and environmental correlations among traits were estimated, followed by the partitioning of genetic correlations into direct and indirect effects on protein, lipid, nitrogen-free extract, and total dietary fiber content through path analysis. The results of this study suggest there is great difficulty in associating simultaneously high chemical quality of oat caryopsis - protein, lipid and total dietary fiber - with high content of carbohydrates. However, since there is no remarkable relationship, it seems to be possible to achieve high contents of β-glucan, important dietary fiber fraction, without interference of other chemical component of oat caryopsis.
Key words: Avena sativa L., path analysis, protein, lipid, nitrogen-free extract, total dietary fiber.
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