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Genetic Diversity and Heritability Estimates among Ethiopian Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana)(L.) Gaertn.) Genotypes for Yield and Its Contributing Traits at Assosa, Western Ethiopia

The extant exploration was conceded to investigate the genetic divergence among 24 finger millet genotypes for ten agronomic traits in randomized complete block design with three replications at Assosa agricultural research center in 2016 main cropping season. The objectives of the study were to evaluate and select high yielding with head blast tolerant finger millet genotypes, to estimate comparative influence of traits for entire variability and to cluster or group genotypes based on their genetic distance. The analysis of variance revealed the existence of highly significant (P<0.01) variation among genotypes for all tested traits. This implies the expediency of selection for these traits in the genetic resources used for imminent enhancement. High genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of variations were recorded for logging, plant aspect, head blast, grain yield and finger length. High heritability estimate were resulted from plant aspect, finger length, maturity date, logging and flowering date. Traits like logging score, plant aspect, head blast score, grain yield and finger length verified comparatively high genetic advance as percentage of the mean estimates while low for phenological traits Viz. flowering and maturity date. The principal component analysis illustrated the first three principal components explained most of the variability observed in the data set. Traits like days to flowering, days to maturity, blast score, plant aspect and grain yield found to be more important in contributing the observed variability. Four phenotypically divergent clusters which showed highly significant intercluster distance were observed from cluster analysis. Resistance to stress and high yielder genotypes were found under cluster two which could be utilized as a parent to develop superior and adaptable finger millet varieties to the area.

Author(s): Yaregal Damtie*, Firezer Girma,Alemu Terfessa and Habtamu Demelash

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