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Multi-Trait Selection of Quinoa Ideotypes at Different Levels of Cutting and Spacing
, Khalid Rehman Hakeem,

Climate change has affected the food supply chain and raised serious food concerns for humans and animals worldwide. The present investigation aimed to assess the effect of environmental factors along with three different levels of cutting (i.e., cutting 1, 2, and 3 at the vegetative, budding, and flowering stages, respectively) and spacing (i.e., 21, 23, and 26 cm) on quinoa biomass and quality to select the most suitable accessions. This experiment was repeated for two years using a split–split plot experimental design. The cutting × genotype × year and cutting × space × genotype interactions were significant for most quinoa morphological traits (except for leaf area and intermodal distance), where the maximum growth in number of leaves/plant (NoL), plant height (PH), fresh weight (FW), number of branches/plant (Br), and dry weight (DW) were observed during the second growing season. Cutting and spacing levels also showed significant effects on morphological and quality traits of quinoa. Among the different levels of cutting and spacing, cutting level 3 and spacing level 2 were more effective across both years at gaining maximum biomass and quality traits such as crude fat (CF) and crude protein (CP). According to the MGIDI, only two accessions (R3 and R9) fared better in both growing seasons, and selected accessions had positive morphological and quality traits. There were moderately significant negative correlations between PH, NoL, LA, FW, and DW and anti-quality traits such as neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF), indicating that an increase in biomass decreased the concentrations of ADF and NDF in both stem and leaves. A comparison with oat accessions (G3 and G7) revealed that quinoa has higher CP and CF and lower NDF than oats in both stems and leaves (except for ADF). In conclusion, the combination of cutting level 3 and spacing level 2 (23 cm) is more suitable to obtain high-quality quinoa forage with maximum biomass production. Furthermore, the MGIDI is a useful tool for breeders to select genotypes based on their mean performance, stability, and desired traits.

quinoa; cutting; spacing; biomass production; forage quality
Journal or Conference Name
Sustainability (Switzerland)
Publication Year