Contribution of seed traits to the genetic diversity of a segregating population of Passiflora spp.

Géssica Xavier Torres1, Alexandre Pio Viana1, Henrique Duarte Vieira1, Daniele Lima Rodrigues1*, and Valquíria Oliveira dos Santos1
Genetic diversity can be investigated early using seed traits, an important aspect of sexually propagated species. In this context, plant breeders aim at the production of new varieties using seeds with good germination and vigor. The present study was thus designed to examine the genetic diversity of a segregating population from a cross between Passiflora edulis Sims and P. setacea DC. based on seed morphological- and physiological-quality responses. Seventeen seed morphology variables were evaluated via digital image analysis, and a germination test and four vigor tests were applied for the evaluation of physiological quality. Data were interpreted by multivariate analysis for the evaluation of genetic diversity. The parents were allocated to distinct groups by the dendrogram structured using Euclidean distance, based on the morphological- and physiological-quality traits. The unweighted pair group method using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) clustering method formed three groups, the first one represented by backcrossing 32, the second by P. setacea and the third by a larger number of genotypes (P. edulis, hybrids and other backcrosses). The principal component analysis showed that the first two components explained 61.32% of the variation. The clustering methods were efficient in the evaluation of dissimilarity of genotypes from a segregating population of Passiflora.
Keywords: Backcrossing, genetic variability, hybrids, Passiflora edulis, Passiflora setacea.
1Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Agropecuárias, Avenida Alberto Lamego, 2000, Parque Califórnia, 28013-602, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. *Corresponding author (danilr.daniele@gmail.com).