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Genetic Improvement of Lentil [Lens culinaris Medikus] Between 1980 and 2010 in Ethiopia

Daniel Admasu Bogale, Firew Mekbib, Asnake Fikre


Information about changes associated with advances in crop breeding is essential for understanding yield-limiting factors and developing new strategies for future breeding programs. Eleven lentil varieties released in Ethiopia between 1980 and 2010 were grown in 2010 main cropping season at Debre Zeit and Enewari using Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications with the objective to estimate the genetic progress in grain yield and agro-morphological traits of lentil. The estimated yield gains were 18.02 kg ha-1yr–1 at Enewari and 27.82 kg ha-1yr –1 at Debre Zeit, which suggests that the breeding effort does not have a similar effect on the two locations. Besides, significantly increasing trends parallel to variety release were also evident for biomass yield, biomass production rate, reduced days to flowering, and hundred seed weight at Debre Zeit. And also for biomass yield, hundred seed weight, biomass production rate, seed growth rate, and reduced number of seeds per pod at Enewari. Stepwise regression analysis also showed that biomass yield, harvest index, reduced number of days to flowering and plant height at Debre Zeit; seed growth rate and grain filling period at Enewari accounted for 99.8% and 94.5% of the variation among the varieties in grain yield respectively. The genetic gain was most clearly associated with a higher biomass yield and harvest index at Debre Zeit indicating the importance of biomass partitioning. The increase in seed growth rate and grain filling period with gradual reduction in number of seeds per pod associated with an increased hundred seed weight has represented the main breeding goal with an effect on the sink capacity at Enewari.





Genetic improvement, Harvest index, Seed growth rate, Stepwise regression

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