Assessment of genetic divergence in crop species is one of the major activities of plant breeding which helps to analysis to quantify the genetic distance among the selected germplasm and reflects the relative contribution of specific traits towards the total divergence. Therefore, this field experiment was conducted to assess the genetic divergence in bread wheat genotypes, to determine the extent of genetic variation and for selection of suitable diverse parents for yield and yield related traits among wheat genotypes based on quantitative traits using multivariate analysis which could be further utilized in breeding. The field evaluation of 32 genotypes and 4 released varieties were conducted in 6 x 6 Triple Lattice Design at Mehoni Agricultural Research Station in 2017 cropping season. Results of analysis of variance revealed the presence of significant differences among genotypes for 12 quantitative traits. The first four principal component axes (PCA) with Eigen values >1 accounted for 70.5% variation of genotypes. Euclidean distance was used to estimate the genetic distances of all possible pairs of 36 bread wheat genotypes and its ranged from 1.15 to 9.20 with the mean, standard deviation and coefficient of variation of 4.47, 1.28 and 28.71%, respectively. Higher genetic distances were estimated among the new entries than among the four check varieties and check varieties with new entries. The genotypes were grouped into eight distinct clusters of which Cluster VI , VIII and III consisted of 11 (30.5%), 8 (22.2%) and 6 (16.7%) genotypes, respectively. Cluster VII were with two released varieties (Fentalle and Gambo) but Cluster IV, II and V with 3, 4 and 2 genotypes, respectively, while Cluster I was solitary. Generally, the results of this study showed the presence of variation among genotypes for agro-morphology traits with wide range of genetic distances that could allow selection and/or hybridization of genotypes after the results of this study are confirmed across locations and over years.
Keywords: Genotypes, Clustering and Genetic distance