Assessment in mutant lines of winter barley using BLUPs

B. Dyulgerova*, N. Dyulgerov

Agricultural Academy, Institute of Agriculture – Karnobat, 8400 Karnobat, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 20 November 2023; accepted for publication 15 February 2024)

Abstract. This study aimed to assess genetic variability for grain yield and yield-related traits of mutant lines of winter barley, employing BLUP methodology. Traits spike length, spikelet number in spike, grain number in spike, grain weight per spike, 1000-grain weight, and grain yield, were evaluated at the Institute of Agriculture – Karnobat, Bulgaria, during 2021/2022 cropping year. The experimental design was a Complete Block Design with four replications, involving 35 genotypes. This included 32 mutant lines, the parent variety Ahil, and two standard varieties, Obzor and Emon. The results showed that mutant lines exhibited superior performance across multiple traits, including grain yield and yield-related traits. The observed high heritability and accuracy of the traits studied suggest a strong possibility for genetic gain through selection. Genetic diversity among the mutant lines, based on BLUP values, revealed substantial genetic differentiation associated with their yield potential. The MGIDI selection strategy was utilized to identify promising mutant lines with high genetic potential. Mutant lines 54/30, 54/49, 54/54, 54/10, and 55/22 were selected based on their predicted genotypic values and favorable characteristics. These lines hold potential for further development as candidate varieties or parents in breeding programs. The use of BLUPs in the selection process proved to be an effective tool for identifying superior mutant lines, further highlighting the usefulness of this approach in barley breeding. The findings of this study also demonstrate the efficacy of sodium azide mutagenesis in generating mutant lines of winter barley with improved yield and yield-related traits.