Principal Component Analysis for Identification of Superior Castor Bean Hybrids

  •  Gabriela N. da Piedade    
  •  Lucas V. Vieira    
  •  Amanda R. P. dos Santos    
  •  Deoclecio J. Amorim    
  •  Maurício D. Zanotto    
  •  Maria M. P. Sartori    


The identification of superior genotypes in plant breeding programs is not a quick and simple task and requires breeders to become aware of more suitable and efficient tools for evaluating crop performance. Univariate analyses are often too narrow for the scope of plant breeding because it lacks consideration of relations between variables. Therefore, the objective of this study was to select castor bean hybrids based on principal component analysis (PCA). Trials were conducted in 2017 with 31 hybrids in a randomized block design with 4 replications. The following variables were used to evaluate crop performance: plant height (PH), insertion height of the primary raceme (HPR), number of stem nodes (NN), number of racemes (NR), number of seeds (NS), stem diameter (SD), number of fruits (NF), 100-seed weight (S100) and seed oil content (SOC). The first three principal components (PCs) explained approximately 75.01 % of all the variability in the dataset. PC 1, 2 and 3 were particularly related to productivity (NS, NR, S100 and NF), plant size (SD, HPR and PH) and oil production (SOC), respectively. Hybrids 14 and 23 were the most suitable for grain production in commercial scale due to short-height, which favors mechanical harvesting. Commercial hybrid 26 showed high SOC, medium grain yield and medium-height.

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