Thirty six barley landraces were collected from three districts of the southern highlands of Ethiopia and evaluated for 11 morphological traits to assess the extent of qualitative trait variations based on morphological traits. The results showed that 42% of the 36 barley landraces were found to have six kernel row numbers for the three collection districts. The distribution of four kernel raw number was found to be very low among the different landraces. Phenotypic diversity index (H') was analyzed and the result indicated that all characters revealed intermediate to high diversity ranging from 0.78 for kernel row number to 0.34 for glume color in all districts. Individual characters showed different levels of diversity index in different districts. The results clearly showed that there is high diversity of barley landraces in the southern highlands; this can be used for the conservation of these germplasm resources and future improvement work on barley crops.
Key words: Diversity index, conservation, barley landraces, agro morphology.
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