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Curcuma zedoaria Rosc., an important member of the family Zingiberaceae possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory curcuminoids in it and has wide applications in the treatment of various diseases like diarrhoea, stomach ache, ulcer, cancer etc. This medicinal herb faces acute narrowing of natural populations due to overexploitation and human activities. The production of promising genotypes of the species has immense scope in the field of medicine. The present study was conducted to assess the genetic variability of C. zedoaria in Kerala state of India with regard to its 15 agronomic characters. Fifty seven accessions of the species were collected from different locations across the state and grown in RBD. The variability studies were performed in terms of GCV, PCV, heritability and genetic advance. All the characters showed statistically significant variation as revealed by ANOVA. The characters with higher values of GCV, PCV, heritability and genetic advance show considerable variability in the study area. The results can be used for the selection of parental plants in crop improvement practices to develop promising genotypes. The presence of high range of variation in the case of the characters studied indicates high influence of the environment on their phenotypic expression. The heritability of characters ranged from 4.76% to 92.65%. The maximum heritability was observed for plant height (92.65%) followed by leaf length (92.18%). Genetic advance varied from 5.71% to 98.79%. The highest genetic advance was recorded for leaf area (98.79%) followed by yield per plant (80.36%). The experiment reveals the presence of a broad genetic base for C. zedoaria in the study area.
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