Barley is recognized as one of the oldest cereal crop in Ethiopia grown for various uses. The knowledge of the association between various yield components and yield is paramount important for effective selection in crop improvement. The present study was to determine the interrelationship and direct and indirect effects of yield component traits on grain yield of Ethiopian landraces barley for further breeding activities of yield improvement. One hundred barley landraces were laid out in 10 x 10 simple lattice design with two replications in 2017 main cropping season at Mata sub site of Haro-Sabu Agricultural Research Center (HSARC). The analysis of variance revealed highly significant (p≤ 0.01) to low significant (p ≤ 0.05) difference for all the characters. Sixteen parameters were evaluated to assess the inter relationship among yield and yield-related agronomic characters and their effect on grain yield. Grain yield showed positive and significant genotypic correlations with grain weight per spike (rg = 0.36), spike weight per plant (rg = 0.38), 1000-seed weight (rg = 0.66), biological yield (rg = 0.83), awn length (rg = 0.34) and plant height (rg = 0.23). The result revealed that biological yield, 1000-seed weight, productive tillers per plant and grain weight per spike were the most important yield components as they exerted positive direct effect on grain yield as well as positive genetic association with each other explaining the existence of significant correlation. This suggests that simultaneous improvement in these characters might be possible.
Keywords: Barley, phenotypic association, genotypic association, direct and indirect effects.
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