Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 651–661 | Cite as

Phenotypic variation within a fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) germplasm collection. II. Cultivar selection based on traits associated with seed yield

  • K. M. McCormick
  • Robert Michael Norton
  • H. A. Eagles
Research Article


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is a minor crop in the Wimmera region of south-eastern Australia. Limited studies have been in the past and these have been on few accessions. This paper describes the use of quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine the main traits associated with seed yield of fenugreek and to identify accessions suitable for commercial production. Phenotypic correlation analysis and simple graphical analysis on a population of fenugreek accessions grown in 1998 and 1999 were used to determine important traits associated with yield. Traits important for yield were early vigour, growth habit, flowering date, end of flowering date, biomass at late flowering and harvest index. Yield per plant and seed weight were also important. Other traits considered important for commercial success included machine harvestability, and bacterial blight resistance. Four accessions (A150118, A150147, A150265, and A150292) were selected as cultivars for commercial release. Although all originating from latitudes >30°, the accession were from different locations and were highly diverse in plant type and phenotypic characteristics. This diversity could be exploited in future breeding programs.


Cultivar selection Fenugreek Spice Trait analysis Trigonella foenum-graecum L. 



This research was supported by the Australian Research Council SPIRT Grant, with generous support from Revell Seeds P/L (later AWB Seeds Ltd), Mr Brian Hedt and The University of Melbourne. The authors acknowledge the field assistance of Mr Peter Howie.


  1. Auricht GC, Howie JH (1996) A pasture ideotype for farming systems in the alkaline soils of the drier South Australian wheat belt. In GRDC Alternative pasture legumes R & D workshop. South Perth. Grains Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, ACTGoogle Scholar
  2. Berger JD, Robertson LD, Cocks PS (2002) Agricultural potential of Mediterranean grain and forage legumes: key differences between and within Vicia species in terms of phenology, yield and agronomy give insight into plant adaptation to semi-arid environments. Genet Resour Crop Evol 49:313–325. doi: 10.1023/A:1015544126185 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brinsmead RB (1987) Fenugreek. Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Darling Downs, QueenslandGoogle Scholar
  4. Brooke HD, Boundy KA (1979) The potential of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) as an alternative legume crop in Victoria. Aust Fld Crops Newsltr 14:47–49Google Scholar
  5. Duke JA, Reed CF, Weder P (1981) Trigonella foenum-graecum L. In: Duke JA (ed) Handbook of legumes of world economic importance. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Evans LT (1993) Crop evolution, adaptation and yield. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  7. Hill J, Becker HC, Tigerstedt PMA (1998) Quantitative and ecological aspects of plant breeding. Chapman and Hall, Sulfolk, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. Hutchinson MF, McIntyre S, Hobbs RJ, Stein JL, Garnett S, Kinloch J (2005) Integrating a global agro-climatic classification with bioregional boundaries in Australia. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 14:197–212. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2005.00154.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kempthorne O (1957) An introduction to genetic statistics. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Laurence RCN (1979) A comparison of the grain and protein yield potential of some annual legume species in South Australia. Aust J Exp Agric Anim Husb 19:495–503. doi: 10.1071/EA9790495 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lemerle D, Verbeek B, Cousens RD, Coombes NE (1996) The potential for selecting wheat varieties strongly competitive against weeds. Weed Res 36:505–513. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.1996.tb01679.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Loss SP, Siddique KHM (1994) Morphological and physiological traits associated with wheat yield increases in Mediterranean environments. Adv Agron 52:229–233. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2113(08)60625-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marcellos H, Simmons KV (1989) Fenugreek. Department of Agriculture NSW, TamworthGoogle Scholar
  14. McCormick KM (2004) Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) for south-eastern Australian farming systems. Dissertation, The University of MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  15. McCormick KM, Hollaway GJ (1999) First report of bacterial blight in fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Aust Plant Pathol 28:338. doi: 10.1071/AP99055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McCormick KM, Norton RM, Eagles H (2009) Phenotypic variation within a fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) germplasm collection. I. Description of a germplasm collection. Genet Resour Crop Evol. doi: 10.1007/s10722-008-9398-7
  17. Nyquist WE (1991) Estimation of heritability and prediction of selection response in plant populations. Crit Rev Plant Sci 10:235–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pant KC, Chandel KPS, Pant DC (1984) Variability and path-coefficient analysis in fenugreek. Indian J Agric Sci 54:655–658Google Scholar
  19. Payne RW, Lane PW, Digby PGN, Hardinh SA, Leech PK, Morgan GW, Todd AD, Thompson R, Tunnicliffe WG, Welham SJ, White RP (1993) Genstat 5 release 3 reference manual. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Provorov NA, Soskov YD, Lutova LA, Sokolova OA, Bairamov SS (1996) Investigation of the fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) genotypes for fresh weight, seed productivity, symbiotic activity, callus formation and accumulation of steroids. Euphytica 88:129–138. doi: 10.1007/BF00032444 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sade B, Akinerdem F, Tamkoc A, Topal A, Acar R, Soylu S (1996) The correlation and path analysis of yield and yield components on fenugreek lines (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.). Turk J Agric For 20:153–156Google Scholar
  22. Sharma KC, Sharma MM, Sharma RK (1990) Nature of variability and associations in fenugreek. Indian J Genet Plant Breed 50:260–262Google Scholar
  23. Shukla GP, Sharma RK (1978) Genetic variability, correlation and path analysis in fenugreek. Indian J Agric Sci 48:518–521Google Scholar
  24. Singh RR, Raghuvanshi SS (1984) Correlation and path coefficient analysis in fenugreek. Indian J Hortic 41:294–298Google Scholar
  25. Singh JV, Lodhi GP, Arora RN, Jhorar BS, Kishor C, Thakkal NK (1993) Association analysis for some quantitative traits in fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.). Int J Trop Agric 11:182–186Google Scholar
  26. Thomson BD, Siddique KHM, Barr MD, Wilson JM (1997) Grain legume species in low rainfall Mediterranean-type environments. I. Phenology and seed yield. Field Crops Res 54:173–187. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4290(97)00047-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Walton GH, Trent TR (1988) Evaluation of pulses and other seed legumes for crop rotations in Western Australia. Department of Agriculture, PerthGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. McCormick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Michael Norton
    • 1
  • H. A. Eagles
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and Food SystemsThe University of MelbourneHorshamAustralia
  2. 2.John Stuchbery and AssociatesDonaldAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite CampusUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia

Personalised recommendations