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Phenotypic, genotypic, and environmental correlations between characters in onion segregate populations obtained under different generations

Author(s): D.L.M. Machado, J. A. de Freitas, J.M.Q. Luz, G. M. Maciel, A.P.O. Nogueira and E. di Camillo

Onion (Allium cepa L.) is the third most valuable vegetable crop worldwide and the third most produced in Brazil. The knowledge of the nature and the value of the relationship between the traits of interest is very important, since it is possible to select a main trait, with low heritability or difficult measurement, obtaining higher genetic gain faster than with direct selection. The aim of this work was to estimate the genotypic, phenotypic and environmental correlations between the characteristics of the plant, the bulb and seed production in onion segregating populations obtained from different breeding methods. Most of the estimations of the genetic correlations (rg) were higher than the phenotypic (rp) and the environmental (re) ones. The genotypic, phenotypic and environmental correlation coefficients for plant and bulb characteristics were low, except for plant vigour and its components (plant height, neck diameter and plant architecture). The phenotypic and genotypic correlations revealed an association between the traits related to the plant vigour in onion, nevertheless, it was not reflected in the bulb and seed production, in the two years evaluated. The traits “Seed setting” and “Resistance in Alternaria” can be useful in the indirect selection for “Seed mass per umbel