Worku Kebede* and Kebebew Assefa
The goal of this research was to look at the genotypic and phenotypic associations of quantitative traits, as well as the direct and indirect effects of these traits on tef grain yield and use in national tef breeding programs. The research was carried out during the 2017 main cropping season in the drought-prone areas of Melkassa and Alem Tena in Ethiopia's Central Rift Valley. The experiment was laid out by a 7 × 7 simple lattice design, 42 droughttolerant tef advanced lines, their parents (Dtt2, Dtt13, Quncho, and the cultivar Kaye Murri), two varieties (Tsedey and Simada) released for low moisture areas, and a local check were used. A positive genotypic association was found in approximately 60% of the total trait association. This positive correlation could be attributed to the presence of common genetic elements that influence the characters in the same way. Grain yield was positively and significantly correlated with above-ground biomass and harvest index at both the phenotypic and genotypic levels. The path coefficient analyses revealed that shoot biomass is the most important component trait determining grain yield, followed by harvest index. The current study found that using the traits identified as yield predictors in tef, a wide range of simultaneous improvements in grain yield could be achieved through selection.
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