Variability of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) populations as a valuable medicinal plant in Albania evaluated by morphological traits

NDRICIM ZHURI1*, BELUL GIXHARI2, ALBAN IBRALIU1

1Agronomic Science Department, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

2Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

Corresponding author e-mail: cimizhuri@yahoo.com

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Abstract

Study for the evaluation of variability of 30 chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) samples, representing 10 chamomile populations collected in nine different natural growing areas of Albania (Berat, Fier, Skrapar, Tirana, Lezha, Lushnja, Korca, Kucova and Kruja), using morphological traits was carried out in the Experimental field of Agricultural University of Tirana, during two growing seasons.The 10 chamomile populations, grown in a randomized block with three replications, were assessed by seven quantitative morphological characters (plant height, number of principal branches, length of internodes, leaf length, number of cones produced per plant, fresh cones yield and dry cones yield). ANOVA, PCA on correlation and cluster analysis reveal presence of significant diversity, and the association among different morphological characters. Comparisons of means for each pair using Student test (t = 2.08596 and α = 0.05) show the significant differences between chamomile genotypes at the P0.05 and P0.01 levels of the probability. Relationships between the morphological characters and chamomile genotypes using Principal Component analysis found the morphological traits: plant height, number of cones produced per plant, leaf length and internode length as the most important for the PC1 that account for 36.46% of the total variance, and internode length, fresh and dry yield of cones for the PC2 that account for 31.24% of the total variance. Cluster analysis (Ward’s method) divides the whole chamomile populations into three cluster groups. Correlation relationships among morphological quantitative traits range from 0.27 (internode length and dry yield of cones) to 0.76 (number of cones produced per plant and leaf length). The study identifies number of cones produced per plant, leaf length and internode length as characters with agronomic interest which account for evaluation of genetic diversity and breeding programs of chamomile populations.

Keywords: Chamomile(Matricaria chamomilla), morphological characterscluster analysis.

 

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