Information on the genetic diversity and agronomic prospective of barley landraces is a central duty to plan strategic exploitation, directed collections and introductions of germplasms. Study on barley landraces revealed that, the variability among the tested 100 barley landraces is highly sufficient to implementing selection for high yielding and early maturing landraces appropriate for areas. The result revealed, the positive contribution of early heading, early maturity, medium grain filling period, high thousand-grain weight, long awn length, high productive tillers per plant, high grain weight per plant and high harvesting index to grain yield indicating the potential role of landraces that can play in alleviating food insecurity variable due to climatic changes. Hierarchal cluster analysis resulted in eleven distinct clusters with maximum inter-cluster distances, low intra-cluster distances and low coefficient of variation. The majority of the landraces were grouped in the first cluster (19%) followed cluster VIII (14%), cluster II (12%) and cluster IV (12%) while the lowest number of landraces were included in clusters III and V. The highest inter-cluster Euclidean distances (D2) was recorded between cluster V and XI. The highest intra-cluster distance was recorded at cluster X, but the lowest one was recorded at cluster V. Totally, Seventy-seven landraces were superior to the best check (Abdane) in most agronomic ally important traits. The first three principal component analysis (PCA) with an eigenvalues greater than one explained a large portion of the total variations 82.2%. So comprehensive range of variations were observed among food barley landraces for all quantitative traits. This variation is fundamental for effective selections and sustainable improvement of barley by combining the desirable traits.
Keywords: Barley Landraces, Diversity, Euclidean distance, PCA and cluster