, Volume 141, Issue 3, pp 247–254 | Cite as

Genetic improvement in grain yield potential and associated agronomic traits of tef (Eragrostis tef)

  • Yifru Teklu
  • Hailu Tefera


A yield potential experiment was conducted with one farmers’ variety and 10 improved varieties released over the periods 1960–1995 to estimate the progress made in improving grain yield potential and to determine changes produced on agronomic traits associated with genetic yield potential improvement. The experiment was conducted at the Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, on two soil types in the 1997 main cropping season, using a randomized complete block design with three replications. Evaluation of cultivars from different eras in a common environment has been used to estimate breeding progress. Optimum levels of fertilizers and full weed and bird control programs were used. Netting was used to prevent lodging. Data on grain yield and its attributes were determined. Grain yield of tef was estimated to have risen for 35 years of breeding from 3425 to 4599 kg/ha. Biomass yield and kernel weight per main panicle were greater in newer cultivars, highly and linearly related to cultivar age, and positively and significantly correlated to grain yield. Number of spikelets per panicle is also greater in newer cultivars and significantly and positively correlated with grain yield. Improved plant height, panicle length and kernels per panicle were a feature of most modern genotypes. However, no change occurred in harvest index and 100-kernel weight. Results of a stepwise regression analysis of grain yield on selected yield components revealed that biomass yield was the single most important yield attribute, which accounted for 56.7% of the variation in grain yield.


agronomic traits Eragrostistef grain yield potential tef 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yifru Teklu
    • 1
  • Hailu Tefera
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agro-biodiversity, Institute of Crop SciencesUniversity of KasselWitzenhousenGermany
  2. 2.Debre Zeit Agricultural Research CentreEthiopian Agricultural Research OrganisationDebre ZeitEthiopia

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