Evaluation of genetic diversity among soybean (Glycine max) genotypes using univariate and multivariate analysis.
The genetic diversity study has paramount importance in breeding programs; hence, it allows selection and choice of the parental genetic divergence, which have the agronomic traits desired by the breeder. This study aimed to characterize the genetic divergence between 24 soybean genotypes through their agronomic traits, using multivariate clustering methods to select the potential genitors for the promising hybrid combinations. Six agronomic traits evaluated were number of days to flowering and maturity, plant height at flowering and maturity, insertion height of the first pod, and yield. The genetic divergence evaluated by multivariate analysis that esteemed first the Mahalanobis' generalized distance (D), then the clustering using Tocher's optimization methods, and then the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA). Tocher's optimization method and the UPGMA agreed with the groups' constitution between each other, the formation of eight distinct groups according Tocher's method and seven distinct groups using UPGMA. The trait number of days for flowering (45.66%) was the most efficient to explain dissimilarity between genotypes, and must be one of the main traits considered by the breeder in the moment of genitors choice in soybean-breeding programs. The genetic variability allowed the identification of dissimilar genotypes and with superior performances. The hybridizations UFU 18 x UFUS CARAJÁS, UFU 15 x UFU 13, and UFU 13 x UFUS CARAJÁS are promising to obtain superior segregating populations, which enable the development of more productive genotypes.