Twenty-eight sesame landraces were grown in the field at Mt Makulu Research Station during the 2013/14 cropping season and agro-morphological variation estimated based on 24 morphologic and agronomic descriptors. The landraces were obtained from the National Gene Bank at Mount Makulu Research Station. Multivariate analyses were performed in order to establish similarity and dissimilarity patterns. Principal component analyses revealed that the first 5 principal axes explained 75.1 % of the total variation while the rest of the principal axes contributed 24.1 % to the total variation. Cluster analysis grouped accessions into 2 major clusters at coefficient approximately 0.75 with each cluster further generating two sub-clusters. Cluster analysis could not group accessions based on collection location, indicating that there is possibility of exchange of seeds across locations. These results therefore indicate that there are morphological variations in the Zambian sesame germplasm. Traits that were responsible for classifying the germplasm are: plant height, days to flower, number of seeds per capsule, seed weight, flower colour, main stem colour, leaf arrangement, leaf shape, leaf hairiness and seed colour.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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