An Evaluation of Genetic Diversity in some Almond Genotypes Using Morphological Traits



Almond is among some of the most important nut crops requiring improvement in many aspects of its production. To do that, the first step is an evaluation of the genetic diversity of the existing germplasm. Towards this end, 56 vigorous almond seedlings were evaluated with recording eight morphological characteristics (trunk diameter, height of main trunk, canopy density, canopy angle, branch number, average branch size, branch tip color and growth power) as based upon an almond descriptor, at the Horticultural Research Station, University of Tehran. Cluster analysis, at a distance of 9, divided the genotypes into four groups. There existed 13 genotypes in the first group, 10 in the second, five in the third, and finally another 28 genotypes located in the fourth group. The first group included most East and West Azerbaijan genotypes plus two genotypes, one from Karaj Horticultural Research Station and the other from Estahban. In the second group, all the genotypes belonged to Azerbaijan, except two which belonged to Kashmar and Estahban. The third group included three genotypes from the Research Station while two from Azerbaijan. There were genotypes from varying areas in the fourth group. High correlations were observed among the traits, most of them being significant, as based on the Coefficients of correlation. The highest correlation (0.74), a significant one, was observed between foliage density and branching traits, while the lowest (0.007) observed between growth vigor and foliage density.