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The present investigation was carried out to study the inherent genetic diversity of 107 rice genotypes towards development of rice varieties with tolerance for germination under anaerobic conditions for use in wet direct seeded rice cultivation system. The diversity was evaluated using multivariate analysis technique of Mahalanobis D2. The 107 rice genotypes studied were grouped into nine clusters. Twenty nine genotypes were grouped in cluster II followed by 27, 22, 10, 11 and 5 genotypes each in clusters I, III, IV, VI and cluster VII, respectively. The pattern of distribution of genotypes into various clusters was observed to be at random with no relation to geographical diversity. Results on inter-cluster distances revealed maximum diversity between genotypes of cluster VII and cluster IX, while intra-cluster distance was noticed to be maximum for cluster VI. Cluster IX had recorded higher cluster mean values for all the traits studied. Further, the traits, namely, shoot length, seedling dry weight and anaerobic response index together accounted for 62.45 per cent of the total genetic divergence in this study.
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