Barley ranks third after durum and bread wheat grain production in Algeria. In this study, genetic diversity of twenty nine traditional genotypes of barley was assessed using twenty seven pheno-morphological and agronomic traits in presence of four controls. Very high significant differences were found between genotypes for all quantitative characters statistically analyzed, indicating existence of a great variability within the germplasm. Some traditional genotypes differed from all controls by their better mean values of 1000 grain weight, tiller number per spike, grain number per spike and grain protein content. The long-cycle genotypes had higher values of 1000 grain weight, awn length and plant height than those with short cycle. For quantitative traits, the principle component analysis showed that three components could describe 68.27% of total variances and the cluster analysis divided all six-rowed barley studied into three cluster groups. The following traits: 1000 grain weight, awn length, days to heading and maturity, grain width, grain number per spike, plant height, length of first rachis segment and grain length were those contributing more to variability among the genotypes and also but less strongly the tiller spike number per plant and the spike length. The awn length, the 1000 grain weight, the grain width and the plant height were positively correlated with highly significant correlations between the majority of them. On the qualitative traits, the growth habit, the curvature of the first rachis segment and the lower leaf sheath hairiness were the traits which varied more between all genotypes.
Key words: Qualitative traits, quantitative traits, variability.
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