Wheat is the most important cereal crop in Ethiopia ranking third in terms of area after teff and maize and second in terms of production after maize. Six local wheat varieties cultivated in South Gondar, one of the 11 zones found in Amhara region, were collected from the local farmers to study their variability, heritability and trait associations using 12 agro-morphological traits. The studied genotypes were grown in main rain season of 2014/2015 at Farta district in a complete randomized block design with three replications. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed the presence of highly significant difference that revealed the presence of high genetic variability of wheat in the study area. The highest yield was recorded from the local variety Ferno with 1957 kg/ha followed by Chekole (1588.33 kg) and Canada Sendie (1580.7 kg). Higher value of genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) and phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) were recorded in most of the studied traits indicating the selection may be effective from these traits and phenotypic expression would be good indication of the genotypic potential. Broad sense heritability estimates were very high for most traits signifying the possibility of success in the selection. Correlation study revealed that the number of tillers per plant, number of seeds per plant and harvest index had positive and highly significant correlation with grain yield. The present investigation confirms the presence of high genetic variability in the study area which deserves conservation and formulation of breeding strategy for improving the productivity of wheat in the country.
Key words: Local wheat varieties, agro-morphological traits, genetic variability, correlation.
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