Morphological variability of phenotypic traits in of oregano samples
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The purpose of the research was to study the morphological variability of collection samples of oregano of the Crimean Peninsula. The experiments were carried out in 2016–2018 in the Foothill Zone of Crimea. The plant material consisted of 41 samples of origanum collected on the Crimean Peninsula territory. The degree of identification reliability of oregano collection samples by morphological traits was checked. The construction of relationship dendrograms was carried out by the Ward’s method based on the Manhattan distances. It was found that qualitative traits (coloration of corolla, leaf, bract, stalk and male fertility) showed themselves more consistently than quantitative ones. It was recommended to use the most polymorphic traits (entropy, H > 1.50 bits) for reliable identification of oregano samples from the Crimean peninsula: coloration of bract, stem, leaf and corolla, as well as the number of shoots and mass fraction of essential oil. The structure of the association differed by the years of study when constructing dendrograms (r = 0.58).Nevertheless, a fairly clear correspondence of the clusters of different years’ clusters to each other was established (78% of the samples). The established correspondence indicates the reliability of the genotypes combination into separate groups (clusters) and their similar reaction to environmental conditions. The most interesting combinations of samples for further breeding work were identified – these are clusters 2 and 5 (according to the 2018 data). In 42.7% of genotypes from the second cluster, the mass fraction of essential oil was at the level of 0.25–0.55% of the absolute dry mass (4–6 points). The samples from the second cluster could be used as high-oil sources, whereas samples from fifth cluster – as sources of high productivity of ‘green’ raw materials (up to 1,200 g plant-1 ). It is advisable to select parental forms from these two clusters for hybridization. The grouping of origanum samples used in the work divides the samples quite accurately separated them not only on qualitative, but also on economically valuable traits.