Morphological characterization and genetic analysis in bread wheat germplasm: A combined study of heritability, genetic variance, genetic divergence and association of characters

  1. Gerema1*, D. Lule2, F. Lemessa4, T. Mekonnen3

1Bako Agriculture Research Center, Oromia, Ethiopia

2Oromia Agriculture Research Institute, Finfinne, Ethiopia

3Institute of Biotechnology, Addiss Ababa University, Ethiopia

4Department of Horticulture and plant Science, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

(Manuscript received 20 May 2020; accepted for publication 5 November 2020)

Abstract. The present study was conducted to assess the nature and magnitude of genetic variability and traits association of bread wheat genotypes for yield and related traits. A total of 180 genotypes were evaluated in alpha lattice design with three replications in 2017/18 cropping season. Data for 10 quantitative traits were collected and subjected to analysis of variance. The result from the analysis of variance revealed highly significant variability observed among genotypes for all traits studied. Phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) is superior over genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) for most traits but narrow variations were found between PCV and GCV for most of the traits. Heritability in broad sense and genetic advance as percent of the mean (GA%) were relatively higher for Kernels per spike and grain filling period. Grain yield showed positive and highly significant (p≤0.01) association with number of tillers, kernel per spike and plant height both on genotypic and phenotypic levels.The path coefficient analysis showed that spike length, plant height and kernels per spike had positive direct effect on grain yield on both genotypic and phenotypic levels. Divergence analysis (D2) grouped the total test germplasm into 10 clusters. Among those, clusters IV and IX showed the highest genetic distance and thus the possibility to develop segregating populations upon the crossing of widely related genotypes in those clusters. The results could help researches to utilize the most promising wheat genotypes of this study in future breeding programmes for enhancing desirable traits.