Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 February 2007
We analysed the patterns of variation for 14 qualitative and 12 quantitative traits in 11,402 pigeonpea germplasm accessions from 54 countries, which were grouped into 11 regions. Semi-spreading growth habit, green stem colour, indeterminate flowering pattern and yellow flower colour were predominant among qualitative traits. Primary seed colour had maximum variability and orange colour followed by cream were the two most frequent seed colours in the collection. Variances for all the traits were heterogeneous among regions. The germplasm accessions from Oceania were conspicuous by short growth duration, short height, fewer branches, pods with fewer seeds, smaller seed size and lower seed yields. The accessions from Africa were of longer duration, taller, with multi-seeded pods and larger seeds. The germplasm diversity indicated by Shannon–Weaver diversity index (H′) pooled over all traits, was highest for Africa (0.464±0.039) and lowest for Oceania (0.337±0.037). The cluster analysis based on three principal component scores using 12 quantitative traits revealed formation of three clusters: cluster 1 includes accessions from Oceania; cluster 2 from India and adjacent countries; and cluster 3 from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Europe, Africa, America and the Caribbean countries. Pigeonpea-rich countries such as Myanmar, Uganda, and others like Bahamas, Burundi, Comoros, Haiti and Panama are not adequately represented in the collection, and need priority attention for germplasm exploration.