Kemelew Muhe, Alemayehu Assefa
Study on the genetic diversity and agronomic potential of 181 Ethiopian barely landraces revealed that the diversity among the tested barley landraces was sufficient to made selection for high yield and early maturity. Clustering analysis resulted in ten statistically significant different (P<5%) clusters with high intercluster Euclidian distance. The intracluster Euclidian distances of some clusters were relatively large, implying that landraces within each of these clusters were variable for the traits considered. The intra cluster coefficient of variation for plant height, grain-filling period and thousand grain weight were fairly large for all clusters, signifying that selection among landraces within a cluster would be responsive. The highest yielding clusters contained eighty-eight promising landraces for grain yield, thousand-grain weight, taller plant height and longer grain filling period, whereas landraces included in low yielding clusters were distinguished for being late maturing and short plant height. Systematic exploitation of both intra and inter cluster variability among barley landraces was an important task in the future barley breeding programs aimed at stabilizing barley productivity in areas with unpredictable rainfall pattern during the belg season in Ethiopia.
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