Analysis of genetic variability and genotype 3 environment interactions for iron and zinc content among diverse genotypes of lentil
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Deficiencies of iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) are major problems in developing countries especially for woman and preschool children. Biofortification of staple food crops is a sustainable approach to improve human mineral intake via daily diet. Objectives of this study were to (1) determine the genetic variability for Fe and Zn content in cultivated indigenous and exotic lentil genotypes, and (2) determine the effect of genetic (G) 9 environmental (E) interaction on Fe and Zn content in 96 lentil genotypes grown in India over the 2 years. Significant genetic variability was observed for Fe and Zn content in lentil genotypes. Content ranged from 71.3 to 126.2 mg/kg for Fe, and 40.1 to 63.6 mg/kg for Zn. For Fe, cultivars and parental lines (71.3–126.2 mg/kg) showed slightly higher content than the breeding lines (76.8–124.3 mg/kg). For Zn, content were similar for both cultivars and breeding lines. However, year and the genotype 9 year interaction were significant for both Fe and Zn. Broad sense heritability estimates were found to be 45.8, 45.4 and 40.1 for Fe; 30.0, 63.0 and 69.0 for Zn content in breeding lines, cultivars/parental lines, and exotic lines, respectively. These heritability estimates indicated the potential of these lentil genotypes towards genetic improvement for increased Fe and Zn content using hybridization and selection over several generations. Significant positive correlation of Fe content and seed weight suggested a selection strategy for developing large seeded lentil for accumulation of more Fe in the seeds. No correlation was observed between Fe and Zn content. Further, recombination of Fe and Zn content is possible by developing recombination breeding. Thus present study findings would be useful in future for mapping and tagging the genes/QTL controlling Fe and Zn content and developing the improved biofortified cultivars.