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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Phenotypic Variability, Heritability and Associations of Agronomic and Quality Traits in Cultivated Ethiopian Durum Wheat (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. Durum, Desf.)

Dagnaw, Temesgen; Mulugeta, Behailu; Haileselassie, Teklehaimanot; Geleta, Mulatu; Tesfaye, Kassahun


Quality is an important aspect of durum wheat in the processing sector. Thus, recognizing the variability of quality and agronomic traits and their association is fundamental in designing plant breeding programs. This study aimed to assess the variability, heritability, genetic advance, and correlation of some agronomic and quality traits among 420 Ethiopian durum wheat genotypes and to identify the promising genotypes with distinct processing quality attributes to produce superior quality pasta. The field experiment was conducted at two locations (Sinana and Chefe Donsa) using an alpha lattice design with two replications. Analysis of variance, chi-square test, and Shannon-Weaver diversity index revealed the existence of highly significant (p < 0.001) variation among genotypes for all studied traits. The broad-sense heritability values were ranging from 46.2% (days to maturity) to 81% (thousand kernel weight) with the genetic advance as a percent of the mean ranging from 1.1% (days to maturity) to 21.2% (grain yield). The phenotypic correlation coefficients for all possible pairs of quantitative traits showed a significant (p < 0.05) association among most paired traits. The gluten content (GC) and grain protein content (GPC) were negatively correlated with grain yield and yield-related traits and positively associated with phenological traits, while yield and phenological traits correlated negatively. The frequency distributions of amber-colored and vitreous kernels, which are preferable characters of durum wheat in processing, were highly dominant in Ethiopian durum wheat genotypes. The identified top 5% genotypes, which have amber color and vitreous kernel with high GC and GPC content as well as sufficient grain yield, could be directly used by the processing sector and/or as donors of alleles in durum wheat breeding programs.


durum wheat; Ethiopia; landraces; phenotypic diversity; quality

Published in

2022, Volume: 12, number: 7, article number: 1714Publisher: MDPI