Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
Plants, Soils, and Climate
Considerable work has been done by plant breeders and investigators in the study of individual plant characters, but only a few have attempted to work out correlations between characters in crop plants. One reason for this seems to be, that many investigators have felt that correlation studies were of very little practical value. This attitude was due perhaps to the interpretation given correlation data, especially the nature of the casual agency or agencies to which the correlation was attributed. Most of our plant breeders however, have been too busy working on experiments with single characters and have given little or no attention to correlation work. The few who have done work in correlations have usually found little or no correlation between the characters studied. The chief reason for lack of investigations in the field of correlations possibly lies in the fact that investigations in this field require very intricate and complex study. A number of characters must be studied and tabulated separately for each plant, the coefficient of correlation determined by means of a long mathematical process, and finally before the work is of any value, causal agencies must be considered and classified, and the data interpreted correctly. This makes the work slow and tedious.
It is quite natural then, in their rush to give to the world something new in plant breeding, that most of our investigators worked on individual characters. It is only recently that we have had men who have gone exhaustively into the field of correlations.
Before proceeding further, an explanation of correlations and what they indicate may be of value. Correlations as it relates to plant breeding is the association or relation that exists between plant characters due to a common casual agency or influence.
Reed, Joseph, "Correlation Studies in Wheat" (1926). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3975.
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