Stability of performance of tetraploid wheat landraces in the Ethiopian highland
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Plant breeding has always been concerned with genotype-environment interaction. Normally high and stable performance are desirable attributes of cultivars. However, this is practically difficult to achieve where environmental variations are high and unpredictable and significant genotype-environment interactions occur. Stability of performance of 13 landraces evaluated at 4 different locations for 3 years in the highlands of Ethiopia was investigated. The testing locations have different climatic and edaphic conditions providing the conditions necessary for the assessment of stability. Stability parameters like b, s2d, s2, r2 and cv which are in common use were employed. Grain yield and 1000-kernel weight were the agronomic traits considered for the stability analysis. There were differences in the ranks of genotypes across the locations. Significant main environmental as well as interaction effects were observed showing the importance of genotype-environment interaction in both traits. Many of the landraces evaluated are rated as stable for these traits within the environmental conditions prevailing in these highland locations. Genotypes with specific adaptation to poor and favourable conditions were also identified. Certain genotypes showed similar manners of adaptation and stability for both of the traits. Grain yield showed low correlations with the stability parameters showing the possibility of attaining high yield and stability. Correlations between the stability parameters were mainly positive and significant for grain yield. Only a few of these correlations were found to be significant for kernel weight. The good adaptability of landraces should be exploited in the improvement of their yield potential.
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