Variation and inter-relationships of quantitative traits in tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) germplasm from western and southern Ethiopia.
- PubMed: 12369096
Three thousand tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) lines representing 60 germplasm populations from western and southern Ethiopia were sown on pellic Vertisols at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center during the 1999/2000 main season. The objectives were to assess the variation with respect to regions and altitude zones of origin and to study the inter-relationships of 17 pheno-morphic and agronomic traits. The populations showed significant (p < or = 0.05) regional variation in 10 (59%) of the quantitative traits, but clinal variation among altitude zones was significant (p < or = 0.05) only for six (35%) of the traits. On the other hand, the populations revealed consistent variation (p < or = 0.05) within both regions and altitude zones in all the traits evaluated. Likewise, the variation among lines within populations of both regions and altitude zones was significant (p < or = 0.05) in most of the traits. The number of characters showing substantial correlation depicted regional and clinal variation mainly depending on the number of populations. Based on the mean of the populations, grain yield panicle and shoot phytomass plant showed negative correlation with harvest index, and positive correlation with most of the remaining traits. Individual plant grain yield was positively correlated with all the other traits except harvest index, days to maturity, grain filling period and number of primary panicle branches. Overall, the tef germplasm populations showed substantial phenotypic variation which can be utilized in the genetic improvement of the crop.