Research Report

Characters Associations and Path Analysis in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorious) Accessions  

Belete Semahegn Yared , Tesfaye Misteru
Holetta Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O.Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2016, Vol. 7, No. 31   doi: 10.5376/mpb.2016.07.0031
Received: 18 Jul., 2016    Accepted: 24 Jul., 2016    Published: 15 Aug., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:
Semahegn Y., and Tesfaye M., 2016, Characters Associations and Path Analysis in Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorious) Accessions, Molecular Plant Breeding, 7(31): 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/mpb.2016.07.0031)

Safflower as a potential oil crops which can be used as an alternative to the existing widely cultivated oil crops in Ethiopia needs seed yield improvement which inturn relies on its component characters. Examining character association and their interrelationships is helpful in selecting the breeding material for improving the complex trait such as seed yield. A study was carried out during 2012 cropping season to determine the associations of characters and partition of this association into direct and indirect effects on seed yield of safflower. Correlation coefficient analysis showed that seed yield recorded significant positive association with days to flowering (0.190), plant height (0.234), number of capitula (0.172), number of seed per plant (0.834) and hundred seed weight (0.197). The highest positive direct effect was revealed by number of seed per plant (0.89) followed by hundred seed weight (0.106) as depicted by path coefficient analysis. This study showed that number of seed per plant is the most important yield component followed by seed weight. Therefore, this suggests that direct selection based on these characters would be effective for the improvement of safflower.

Accessions; Correlation coefficient; Path coefficient; Safflower; Seed yield

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorious L., 2n=24) is a member of the family compositae or Asteraceae, cultivated mainly for its seed as vegetable oil and bird seed (Lie and Mundel, 1996; Yadava et al., 2012). Traditionally, it is used as a source of carthamin for coloring foods, fabric painting, vegetable and medicine (McGuire et al., 2012). It is also used as hay or silage (Smith, 1996) and as a snack food in Ethiopia and Sudan (Belayneh and Wolde-Mariam, 1991). Safflower, as an oil plant, has a long history of cultivation in Ethiopia and India (Weiss, 2000), and locally named “suff’’ in Ethiopia (Ashri, 1957; Smith, 1996). Despite its controversy, Ethiopia was proposed as the primary center in the evolution of safflower (Vavilov, 1951). Ethiopia is the fourth world leading producer of safflower after India, USA, Mexico (Yadava et al., 2012). In Ethiopia, according to CSA (2008/2009) data it was grown in an area of 7,853 ha and produced 6581.4 tonnes with productivity of 0.9 tonne/ha. The crop has tremendous potential to be grown under varied conditions (Golkar, 2014). Safflower is a long-season crop with a deep taproot that can draw moisture from deep in the subsoil. It is drought and heat tolerant, and can be grown in arid and semi-arid areas (Lie and Mundel, 1996). Despite its importance, its production is limited in Ethiopia, perhaps due to lack of awareness of the crop and its relatively low productivity and research attention is scanty. Nevertheless, safflower is an important crop which can be used as an alternative oil crop in Ethiopia. In order to enhance the production and productivity of safflower, due attention has to be given on the improvement of this crop.

As the yield is a complex character in improvement endeavor, determining the relationship of the component characters as well as the cause and effect relationships are essential for indirect selection in enhancing the yield potential of safflower (Singh, 1991; Consentino et al., 1997; Patil, 1998; Omidi, 2002; Mahasi et al., 2006; Mozaffari and Asadi, 2006; Ahmadzadeh et al., 2012). Studies showed that number of head per plant had significant positive correlation with seed yield in safflower (Nezhad and Talebi, 2015; Shinwari et al., 2014). Ahmadzadeh (2013)reported significant positive relationship among number of seed per head and seed yield. Same author also indicated that number of seed per head had positive direct effect on seed yield of safflower.  This study was undertaken to determine the associations of the characters, and identify the direct and indirect effect of these characters on the yield of safflower.


1 Results and Discussion
The associations of characters measured have been depicted in Table 1. Significant positive association was recorded between seed yield and days to flowering (0.190), plant height (0.234), number of capitula (0.172) and hundred seed weight (0.197). Similar result was obtained on plant height, number of capitula and hundred seed weight (Omidi, 1994; Johnson et al., 2001; Omidi, 2002; Arslan, 2007; Omidi et al., 2009; Ahmadzadeh, 2013). Highly significant positive association was also recorded between seed yield and number of seed per plant (0.834). Plant height had highly significant positive relationship with number of branches (0.307), number of capitula (0.518) and number of seed per plant (0.309). Number of branches showed highly significant positive association with number of capitula (0.547). Number of capitula also showed highly significant association with number of seed per plant (0.321). Positive significant correlation was revealed between number of capitula and number of seed per capitula (0.177), which agrees with the result of Consentino et al. (1997). Highly significant positive relationship was recorded between number of seed per capitula and number of seed per plant (0.231). In the present investigation, correlation of traits of the accessions might be as a result of pleiotropic action of genes or as a result of the pressure of natural selection (Falconer, 1981).


Table 1 Characters association of 162 Safflower accessions during 2012 cropping season
Note: *, ** significant at p≤0.05 and p≤0.01 level, respectively; DF: Days to flowering; PH: Plant height; NB: Number of branches; NC: Number of capitula; NSC: Number of seed per capitula; NSP: Number of seed per plant; SYP: Seed yield per plant; HSW: Hundred seed weight


Path analysis showed that days to flowering, plant height, number of branches, number of seed per plant and hundred seed weight had positive direct effect while number of capitula and number of seed per capitula showed negative direct effect on the seed yield of safflower (Table 2). The highest positive direct effect on seed yield was recorded by number of seed per plant and hundred seed weight. Therefore, considering these traits as selection criteria in improving seed yield of safflower would be worthy. Similar result was also obtained by (Eslam et al., 2010; Ahmadzadeh et al., 2012). A high positive direct effect of 100 seed weight was also reported by (Mahasi et al., 2006; Patil et al, 1994; Ashri et al., 1976; Uslu et al., 1997; Lahane et al., 1999) reported that capitula per plant was the most important yield component. In this study, the positive correlation of number of capitula with seed yield was a result of the indirect effect of this character via number of seed per plant, which was the most important yield component as depicted in path analysis.



Table 2 The direct (diagonal) and the indirect effects of the 7 characters on seed yield of safflower accessions

Note: *, ** significant at p≤0.05 and p≤0.01 level, respectively; DF: Days to flowering; PH: Plant height; NB: Number of branches; NC: Number of capitula; NSC: Number of seed per capitula; NSP: Number of seed per plant; HSW: Hundred seed weight; r: correlation with seed yield per plant
2 Materials and Methods
The study was implemented at Holetta Agricultural Research Center (38oE and 9oN) during the season of 2012 on one hundred sixty safflower accessions and two checks (standard Turkana which is spineless and local check which is spiny; accessions were obtained from Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity, of which 96.9% are spiny (Table 3). The experiment was laid out using augmented design. Each accession was sown in plots of two rows, 5m long and 0.3 m between rows. Other cultural practices were followed as per the recommendation. Ten plants from each accession were randomly selected to determine the phenotypic traits such as days to flowering, plant height (cm), number of branches per plant, number of capitula per plant, number of seed per capitula, number of seed per plant, seed yield per plant (g) and hundred seed weight (g). Pearson correlation coefficients were determined using AGROBASETM statistical software (Agronomix Software Inc., Canada). Path analysis was done according to the method suggested by Dewey and Lu(1959).



Table 3 Origin and characters of each accession under study


Authors’ contribution
The first author has done the analysis and interpretation of data as well as the manuscript draft while the second author has made substantial contributions to conception, design and acquisition of data as well as revision of the final manuscript.
Authors are grateful for Highland Oil Crops Commodity Research technical staffs for their relentless effort in collecting data for this experiment.
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