Wheat is grown worldwide because it is a major diet component. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic variation in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) when grown in the Wollo highland areas, applying agro-morphological data and gliadin content. A total of twenty accessions of bread wheat received from Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI), Sirinka Agricultural Research Centre (SARC) and also newly collected accessions were planted in a randomized complete block design, starting mid-January, 2014, using irrigation. Agro-morphological data was recorded following the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGR) descriptors list, and the gliadin content was examined by acid page electrophoresis. Analysis of variance showed that most agro-morphological data varied significantly between accessions. By using both dendrogram based on agro-morphological traits and cluster analyses of gliadin, the accession 226944 and the landrace Debalit were found to cluster closely. Newly collected accessions and EBI accessions showed higher diversity than released varieties applying Nei’s genetic distance and gene diversity (H*) analysis. Accessions originating from the West part of the South Wollo province were found to be grouped together, applying principal component analysis. It can be concluded that high genetic variability exists on the bread wheat genotypes, some of them holding exceptionally promising values, making them interesting for further selection.
Key words: Acid page electrophoresis, agro morphological traits, Ethiopia, genetic variability, gliadin, Triticum aestivum.
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