Researcher –Honey Fe C. Gumay and Jose M. Remollo III
Proper identification of rubber clones plays a vital role in crop management system and research. Although clones do not exhibit highly distinct variations. Most of them possess differences in certain minor, but more or less stable morphological features which can be used for identification. Collection of germplasm resources is a significant component of any conservation program and is likely costly and logistically difficult. Germplasm collections in genebank repositories remain of less value unless characterized and evaluated for their range of variability and what they could offer for research and other uses. It is highly important to characterize and evaluate cultivar to look for novel gene sources that are potential and useful for future breeding study. This merited sufficient concern for the urgent conservation of its genetic resources which serves dual purposes; conservation per se and for the immediate and/or future utilization (Hodkin et al., 1995), as with other species. This study is being conducted to assess the genetic diversity of the collected hevea germplasm under PRRI nursery condition at juvenile stage to facilitate efficient selection of parent materials for hybridization and the identification of highly heterotic groups.