Phenotypic Variation of Ethiopian Hexaploid Wheat Accessions
Variable climatic factors, i.e. rainfall, relative humidity and temperatures across regions and altitudes resulted in a high genetic diversity in wheat species. The objective of the study was to evaluate the variation in morphological traits of hexaploid wheat accessions across different regions and altitudes using frequency and Shannon-Weaver diversity index. Polymorphism was observed in all traits with the exception of glume hairiness. More than 85% of the collections contained medium to large and plump seed types. Over all accessions diversity indices ranged from 0.03 for glume hairiness to 0.85 for beak length. Average regional diversity indices for all traits ranged from 0.47 for Group II (accessions from Gojam and Gonder) to 0.57 for Group III (accessions from Shewa). Traits diversity in altitude ranged from 0.44 for altitudes > 2800 masl to 0.63 for altitudes . 2200 masl. Within regions and within altitudes diversity accounted for 89% and 93% of the total variation, respectively. Hence, emphasis should be given to have more samples within one and the same region and range of altitudes to capture more genetic diversity and use it as breeding material for variety improvement programmes.
Keywords: Ethiopia; Phenotypic Diversity; Triticum aestivum
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