Genetic Gain in Grain Yield Potential and Associated Traits of Tef [Eragrostistef (Zucc.)Trotter] in Ethiopia

Fano Dargo, Firew Mekbib, Kebebew Assefa

Volume 16 Issue 6

Global Journal of Science Frontier Researc

Evaluation of varieties from different years in a common environment is the most direct of the several methods that have been used to estimate breeding progress. 33 tef varieties released in Ethiopia since 1970 till now were evaluated at DebreZeit and Melkassa Agricultural Research Centers to estimate the amount of genetic gain made over time in grain yield potential and associated characters. The varieties were laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications in 2012 cropping season. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences among varieties for all traits except hundred seed weight on both locations.Grain yield was increased from 3848.68 kg ha-1 to 4934.4kg ha-1 over the past 42 years. The average annual rate of increase per year for the period of 1970-2012 was estimated from the linear regression of mean grain yield on year of variety release was 21.53 kg ha-1 with a relative genetic gain of 0.56% year-1 which was highly significantly different from zero. Grain yield potential of tef has not attained plateau in Ethiopia. Thus, development of higher yielding varieties of tef should continue to increase tef grain yields if past trends pretend the future. Biomass yield also showed highly significantly increase with annual genetic gain of 73.74 kg ha-1 year-1. Similarly grain yield per day and biomass production rate at both locations showed highly significantly different from zero except biomass production rate at Melkassa which was significantly increased with year of release. On the contrary, days to panicle emergency, days to maturity and lodging index at both locations showed non-significant decreasing trend over years. Linear regression also indicated that significant improvements in yield panicle-1 and panicle weight across location and at both location respectively. No marked changes were observed in days to seedling emergency, harvest index, plant height, panicle length and hundred seed weight during the study period which im