Correlations, Path Coefficient Analysis and
Heritability for Quantitative Traits in
Finger Millet Landraces

 Manyasa Okuku Eric1,2*, Tongoona Pangirayi2, Shanahan Paul2,
Githiri Mwangi2,3, and Rathore Abhishek1

1International Crops Research Institute for the
Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Nairobi, Kenya
2University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Agricultural,
Earth and Environmental Sciences,
Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa;
3Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya

corresponding author:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Knowledge of association between traits and heritability is important in breeding for purposes of effective trait selection. Such information on finger millet in east Africa is very limited. This study was intended to determine the association and heritability for 19 quantitative traits of 340 finger millet landraces from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and 80 global minicore accessions from ICRISAT Genebank in India. There were inherent strong genetic relationships among most traits as evidenced by the higher genotypic than phenotypic correlations. Grain yield had high, positive correlations with finger width (rg =0.876), grains per spikelet (rg =0.623), threshing percent (rg =0.677), peduncle length (rg =0.517) and panicle exertion (rg =0.571). These traits could be considered for grain yield selection. Path coefficient analysis revealed that productive tillers per plant (0.473), 1000 grain mass (0.136), grains per spikelet (0.131) and threshing percent (0.118) had positive, direct effects on grain yield. Due consideration should be placed on these traits when selecting for grain yield improvement in finger millet. There were also strong, positive indirect effects contributed to grain yield by finger width, peduncle length, panicle exertion and leaf sheath width. It will be necessary to simultaneously select for these traits together with those with strong positive, direct effects on grain yield in order to improve grain yield in finger millet. High broad-sense heritability estimates were recorded for fingers per panicle, flag leaf blade length, 1000 grain mass, productive tillers per plant, finger length, peduncle length and panicle exertion indicating the potential for their improvement through selection.



Although many trait relationships are useful in selection, the associations between yield and other component traits would be of key consideration for all crop breeders. Observed and true associations between traits may be quantified in terms of simple phenotypic and genotypic correlation coefficients(Sonnad 2005). However, yield is a complex trait and is influenced directly as well as indirectly by its various components (Wolie and Dessalegn 2011). . . . read more



BENDALE VW, BHAVE SG, PETHE UB. 2002. Genetic variability, correlation and path analysis in finger millet (Eleusine coracana Gaertn.). Journal of Soils 12:187-191.
BEZAWELATAW K, SRIPICHITT P, WONGYAI W, HONGTRAKUL V. 2006. Genetic variation, heritability and path-analysis in Ethiopian finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) landraces. Kasetsart Journal (National Science) 40:322-334.
BHARATHI A. 2011. Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of global finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) composite collection. PhD thesis Center for Plant Breeding and Genetics Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. 244 pages.
BIDINGER F, MUKURU SZ. 1995. Threshing percentage as an indicator of terminal drought stress in sorghum. In, Proceedings of the Eighth EARSAM Regional Workshop on Sorghum and Millets, Mukuru S. Z., King S. B. (Eds) (Patancheru: ICRISAT). pp 27–35.
BURTON GA, DEVANE EH. 1952. Estimating heritability in Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) from replicated clonal material. Agronomy Journal 45:481-487.
CHAUDHARI LB, ACHARYA RC. 1969. Genetic variability and path co-efficient analysis of components of yield (Eleusine coracana). Experimental Agriculture 5: 295-300.
CHAUDHRY MH, SUBHANI GM, SHAHEEN MS, SALEEM U. 2003.Correlation and Path analysis in Pearl Millet (Pennisetum americanum L.). Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 6:597-600.
COCHRAN WG, COX GM. 1957. Experimental designs. John Wiley and sons, Inc., New York. 611 pages.
DABA C. 2000.Variability and association among yield and related traits in finger millet [Eleusine coracana (L) Gaertn].MSc. Thesis, Alemaya University, Ethiopia.
DABHOLKAR AR. 1992. Elements of Biometrical Genetics. Concept Publication, Camp., New Delhi, India. 431 pages.
DEWEY DR, LU KH. 1959. A correlation and path coefficient analysis of components of crested wheat seed production. Agronomy Journal 51:515-518.
DHANAKODI CV. 1988. Path analysis in ragi [Eleusine coracana (L.)] for yield of fodder. Madras Agricultural Journal 75:294
DIDA MM, DEVOS KM. 2006. Finger millet. In: Chittarajan, K., Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding in Plants, Springer-Verlag 1:333-344.
EID MH. 2009. Estimation of heritability and genetic advance of yield traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under drought conditions. International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology 1:115-120.
EL-DIN AAT, HUSSEIN EM, ALI EA. 2012. Path coefficient and correlation assessment of yield associated traits in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) genotypes. American-Eurasian Journal of Agriculture and Environment 12:815-819.
FALCONER DS. 1981. Introduction to quantitative genetics. Second edition. pp. 112-133. 340 pages.
FEDERER WT, WOLFINGER RD. 2003. Augmented row-column design and trend analysis. p. 291–295. In M.S. Kang (ed.) Handbook of formulas and software for plant geneticists and breeders. Food Products Press, Binghamton, New York.
GANAPATHY S, NORMALAKUMARI  A, MUTHIAH AR. 2011. Genetic variability and interrelationship analyses for economic traits in finger millet germplasm. World Journal of Agribusiness Sciences 7:185-188.
HALLAUER AR, MIRANDA FILHO JB. 1998. Quantitative genetics in maize breeding. 2nd edition. Iowa State University Press. Ames. 664 pages.
HANSON CH, ROBINSON HF, COMSTOCK RE. 1956. Biometrical studies on yield in segregating populations of Korean lespedeza. Agronomy Journal 48:268-272.
IBPGR 1985. Descriptors for finger millet. Rome, Italy: International Board for Plant Genetic Resources Secretariat. 22 pp.
JOHN K. 2006. Variability and correlation studies in quantitative traits of finger millet. Science Digest 26:166-169.
JOHNSON HW, ROBINSON HF, COMSTOCK RE. 1955. Estimates of genetic and environmental Variability in soya beans. Agronomy Journal 47:314-318.
KADAM DD, NIGADE RD, KARAD SR. 2008.Genetic variation and selection parameters in ragi genotypes (Eleusine coracana Gaertn.) International Journal of Agricultural Sciences 4:532-534.
KWON SH, TORRIE JH. 1964. Heritability and relationship among trait of two soya bean populations. Crop Science 4:196-198. L.) under drought conditions. International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology 1:115-120.
LENKA D, MISHRA B. 1973. Path coefficient analysis of yield in rice varieties. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science 43:376-379.
LULE D, TESFAYE K, FETENE M, DEVILLIERS S. 2012. Inheritance and association of quantitative traits in finger millet (Eleusine coracana Subsp. Coracana) landraces collected from eastern and south eastern Africa. International Journal of Genetics 2:12-21.
MUDLER HA, BIJMA P. 2005. Effects of genotype x environment interaction on genetic gain in breeding programs. Journal of Animal Science 83:49-61.
NANDINI B, RAVISHANKER CR, MAHESHA B, BORANAYAKA MB, SHADAKSHARI TV. 2010. An assessment of variability generated in F2 generation of four crosses of finger millet [Eleusine coracana (Gaertn)]. Electronic Journal of Plant Breeding 1:747-751.
PANDE S. 1992. Biology of and resistance to finger millet blast. Trip report of work done by ICRISAT/NARS collaborative project on blast disease of finger millet in Kenya and Uganda. ICRISAT.68 pp.
PANDE S, MUKURU SZ, KING SB, KARUNAKAR RI. 1995. Biology of, and resistance to finger millet blast in Kenya and Uganda. In: Eighth EARSAM Regional Workshop on Sorghum and Millets, 30 Oct.- 5 Nov 1992, Wad Medani, Sudan. S. Z. Mukuru and S. B. King (Eds.) Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics.
PANDEY VR, SINGH PK, VERMA OP, PANDEY P. 2012. Inter-relationship and path coefficient estimation in rice under salt stress environment. International Journal of Agricultural Research. DOI: 10.3923.ijar.
PATNAIK MC. 1968. Variation and correlation in finger millet. Indian Journal of Genetics 28:225-22.
PRIYADHARASHINI C, NIRMALAKUMARI A, JOEL AJ, RAVEENDRAN M. 2011. Genetic variability and trait relationship in finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L) Gaertn) hybrids. Madras Agricultural Journal 98:1-3.
RATH GC, MISHRA D. 1975. Nature of losses due to neck blast infection in ragi. Science and Culture 41:322-323.
RAVIKUMAR RL, SEETHARAM A. 1993. Trait association in segregation population of finger millet (Eleusine coracana G.). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 63:96-99.
ROBINSON HF, COMSTOCK RE, HARVEY PH. 1949.Estimates of heritability and degree of dominance in corn. Agronomy Journal  41:353-359.
ROSIELLE AA, HAMBLIN J. 1981. Theoretical aspects of selection for yield in stress and non- stress environment. Crop Science 21: 943-946.
SAS Institute Inc. 2008.SAS/STAT® 9.3 User’s Guide. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.
SATISH D, SHANTHAKUMAR G, SALIMATH PM, PRASAD SG. 2007. Studies on genetic variability for productivity traits in finger millet. International Journal of Plant Science 2:19-22.
SHIVASUBRAMANIAN S, MENON M. 1973. Heterosis and inbreeding depression in rice. Madras Agricultural Journal60: 1139.
SLAFER GD, CALDERINI DF, MIRALLES DJ. 1996. Yield components and compensation in wheat: Opportunities for further increasing yield potential. In: Reynolds MP, Rajaram S and McNab A (Eds). Increasing yield potential in wheat: Breaking the barriers. p. 101-133. (CIMMYT: Mexico).
SONNAD SK. 2005. Stability analysis in white ragi (Eleusine coracana Gaertn.) genotypes.  PhD Thesis, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, India.
SONNAD SK, SHANTHAKUMAR G, SALIMATH PM. 2008. Genetic variability and trait association studies in white ragi (Eleusine coracana Gaertn). Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Science 21:572-575.
SREENIVASAPRASAD S, TAKAN JP, MGONJA MA, MANYASA EO, KALOKI P, WANYERA NM, OKWADI J, MUTHUMEENAKSHI S, BROWN AE, LENNE JM. 2005. Enhancing finger millet production and utilisation in East Africa through improved blast management and stakeholder connectivity. In: Pathways Out Of Poverty, Aspects of Applied Biology 75 (Harris D, Richards JI, Siverside P, Ward AF and Witcombe JR (Eds). UK: Association of Applied Biologists. p. 11-22
SUBEDI M, BUDHATHOKI CB. 1996. Evaluation of finger millet varieties for maize/millet system and examination of the source-sink relationship in finger millet. Lumle Agricultural Research Centre working paper. Nepal Agricultural Research Council (Nepal) NARC.
SUMATHI P, JOEL AJ, MURALIDHARAN V. 2007. Genetic variability in the hybrids of finger millet [Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.]. Crop Research 33:192-194.
SUYAMBULINGAM C, JEBARANI W. 1977. Genetic divergence in short duration ragi (Eleusine coracana Gaertn). Madras Agricultural Journal 64:816-818.
TAKAN JP, AKELLO B, ESELE JP, MANYASA EO, OBILANA BA, AUDI OP, KIBUKA J, ODENDO M, ODUORI CA, AJANGA S, BANDYOPADHYAY R, MUTHUMEENAKSHI S, COLL R, BROWN, AE, TALBOT NJ, SREENIVASAPRASAD S. 2004. ‘Pathogen diversity and management of finger millet blast in East Africa: a summary of project activities and outputs’, International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter 45:66–69.
TYAGI AP, LAL P. 2007. Correlation and path coefficient analysis in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). The South Pacific Journal of Natural Sciences 25:1-9.
WOLIE A, DESSALEGN T. 2011. Correlation and path coefficient analyses of some yield related traits in finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) germplasm in northwest Ethiopia. African Journal of Agricultural Research 6:5099-5105.
WRIGHT S. 1921. Correlation and causation. Journal of Agricultural Research 20:202-209.
YAN W, WALLACE DH. 1995. Breeding for negatively associated traits. Plant Breeding Reviews 13:141-177.