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Universität Hohenheim (2019)

Characterization of genetic variation among Ethiopian barley (Hoerdeum vulgare L.) genotypes

Abtew, Wosene Gebreselassie

Titre : Characterization of genetic variation among Ethiopian barley (Hoerdeum vulgare L.) genotypes

Auteur : Abtew, Wosene Gebreselassie

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Dr.sc.agr. /Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences 2019

Résumé partiel
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a major cereal crop in Ethiopia and accounts for 8% of the total cereal production based on cultivation area. Farmers may face unpredictable rainfall and drought stress patterns such as terminal drought where rainfall ends before crops have completed their physiological maturity, which then poses a challenge to crop production. The absence of efficient weather forecasts and a lack of efficient communication channels for resource-poor farmers ask for the development of varieties that are robust to such irregularities. A goal of plant breeding for areas with variable climate and limited resources for agricultural inputs is to produce stable varieties with higher average yield across diverse environments and growing conditions. Genotype by environment (G x E) interactions, however, frequently interfere with the selection of widely adapted genotypes. Knowledge about the yield stability of existing Ethiopian barley varieties and landraces under changing environmental variables is important for the future development of barley varieties with high and stable yields. In addition, yield components are quantitative with substantial influence of environment. Yield components also compensate each other in trait correlation dynamics. Since grain yield is a more complex trait than its components, environmental effects and genotype-by-environment (G x E) interactions for grain yield are stronger than for its components. Therefore, indirect selection of yield components may be more efficient than selection on grain yield per se to obtain higher yielding and stable cultivars. A study, therefore, was initiated to 1) characterize the response of a diverse set of barley genotypes to different locations and variable planting dates and identify genotypes with wide adaptation and stable performance and/or genotypes with specific altitude and planting date 2) determine traits that contribute to high and stable yields across a range of different environments and planting dates 3) determine the pattern of population structure and genetic parameters among genotypes conserved in Ethiopian and German gene banks in for different period of time as well as currently growing in farmers’ field. In order to meet the objectives 18 genotypes were tested at four different sowing dates with 15 days interval in different locations (Ambo and Jimma) and years (2012 and 2013). The tested genotypes revealed a wide variation for both static and dynamic yield stability measures. Compared to improved cultivars, farmers landraces displayed higher average static stability and similar superiority indices (dynamic stability). These landraces are therefore a source of germplasm for breeding resilient barley cultivars. Staggered planting proved to be a useful method for evaluating genotype stability across environmental factors beyond location and season. In addition, we also noticed that compensatory relationship between kernels per spike and thousand kernel weight in landraces. Kernels per spike and number of fertile tillers can be proposed as robust traits in barley breeding for a wider adaptation as they had significant and consistent positive total effects on grain yield.

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