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The present investigation entitled “Assessment of morphometric diversity for yield and yield attributing traits in rice (Oryza sativa L.) for tolerance to heat stress” was carried out with objective of assessing genetic divergence in 200 germplasm of rice for eleven characters at ICRISAT, Patencheru, Hyderabad. The genotypes were grouped into fifteen clusters in Tocher’s method, cluster analysis and principal component analysis, out of the 11 characters studied, number of grains per panicle, plant height, pollen viability and spikelet fertility contributed 96.73 per cent of the total divergence and these traits were found to be important potent factors for genetic differentiation in genotypes. Principal component analysis identified five principal components, which contributed for 78.66 percent % of cumulative variance. The overall results of the study revealed that crossing using the genotypes under cluster V and XI and cluster XI and XIII could be exploited by hybridization programme to yield good recombinants because they had maximum inter cluster distance and possessing high genetic diversity for the characters viz. panicle length, number of grains per panicle and single plant yield. The genotypes of cluster I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII, XI, XII and XIII showed high spikelet fertility percentage. Hence the genotypes of these clusters can be used in breeding programmes for development of heat tolerant varieties. Euclidean2 method indicated that genotypes of cluster III and IX exhibited high spikelet fertility percentage which can be utilized in development of heat tolerant cultivars. The results of principal component analysis revealed that genotypes of cluster I, cluster IV, cluster V, cluster VIII, cluster IX, cluster XI, cluster XII and cluster XV exhibited highest spikelet fertility percentage. Hence, the genotypes of the clusters can be used in breeding programmes for the development of heat tolerant varieties.
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