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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2011, Article ID 697879, 7 pages
Research Article

Principal Component and Cluster Analysis as a Tool in the Assessment of Tomato Hybrids and Cultivars

1National Agricultural Research Foundation, 570 01 Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece
2Genetics and Plant Breeding Department of AUTH, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 11 March 2011; Revised 7 June 2011; Accepted 16 June 2011

Academic Editor: Ravindra N. Chibbar

Copyright © 2011 G. Evgenidis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Determination of germplasm diversity and genetic relationships among breeding materials is an invaluable aid in crop improvement strategies. This study assessed the breeding value of tomato source material. Two commercial hybrids along with an experimental hybrid and four cultivars were assessed with cluster and principal component analyses based on morphophysiological data, yield and quality, stability of performance, heterosis, and combining abilities. The assessment of commercial hybrids revealed a related origin and subsequently does not support the identification of promising offspring in their crossing. The assessment of the cultivars discriminated them according to origin and evolutionary and selection effects. On the Principal Component 1, the largest group with positive loading included, yield components, heterosis, general and specific combining ability, whereas the largest negative loading was obtained by qualitative and descriptive traits. The Principal Component 2 revealed two smaller groups, a positive one with phenotypic traits and a negative one with tolerance to inbreeding. Stability of performance was loaded positively and/or negatively. In conclusion, combing ability, yield components, and heterosis provided a mechanism for ensuring continued improvement in plant selection programs.