Analysis of genetic divergence in Durum wheat (Triticum Durum Desf.) and selection of elite parents for hybridization

  • Arega Gashaw
  • Hussein Mohammed
  • Harjit Singh


A field experiment was conducted at Geregera and Kone testing sites of Sirinka Agricultural Research Center, northeastern Ethiopia. The objective of the experiment was to estimate the genetic divergence among durum wheat germplasm of diverse origin and clustering them into homogenous groups for further hybridization program. Genetic divergence analysis was computed based on multivariate analysis using Mahalanobis's D2 statistics. Based on D2 values, 64 durum wheat genotypes were grouped into ten clusters. The highest inter-cluster distance was exhibited between cluster-II and cluster-III (D2=57.15). Analysis within the indigenous durum wheat germplasm indicated that there was no correspondence between geographic and genetic distances. That is, germplasm collected from the same geographic area were placed into different cluster groups indicating their differences. Thus, to get more genetic variability, further collection mission should be targeted in major durum wheat growing regions of Ethiopia. On the other hand, indigenous and exotic germplasm were grouped into different clusters except in cluster-VI and cluster-X. Cluster-VI consisted of seven indigenous and one exotic germplasm. Cluster-X on the contrary, consisted of seven exotic and one indigenous germplasm, implying the presence of parallelism between genetic and geographic distances. Thus, there is an opportunity to improve grain yield through hybridization of genotypes from genetically divergent clusters and subsequent selection from the segregating generations. Crossing of parents involving cluster-IX (indigenous) with cluster-III (exotic) would complement each other and could result in high genetic variability and superior segregates having good combinations of characters from both parents.

Keywords/phrases: Clustering, Genetic divergence, Genetic variability

Ethiop. J. Biol. Sci., 7(2): 111-121, 2008

Author Biographies

Arega Gashaw
Sirinka Agricultural Research Center, P.O.Box 74, Woldia, Ethiopia
Hussein Mohammed
Hawassa University, College of Agriculture, P.O.Box 5, Hawassa, Ethiopia
Harjit Singh
Haramaya University, College of Agriculture, P.O.Box 138, Harar, Ethiopia

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1819-8678