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Wheat is one of the major cereal crops largely grown in the mid and high land areas of the Tigray region, northern Ethiopia.
Participatory varietal selection (PVS) in bread wheat was carried out in this region. A search process for the PVS was first
done within Ethiopia and the PVS identified HAR-2501 and HAR-1868 as farmer preferred varieties. The second search led to the
selection of four bread wheat varieties (HUW-468, HI-1418, DL-788-2 and GW-273) brought from India that matched farmers?
criteria. They were tested in PVS by 32 farmers in six locations in 2008 and 2009. Varieties HAR-2501 and HAR-1868 were used
as check varieties. A mother-baby trial system was used. All trials were conducted under farmer management. Quantitative data
were collected and analyzed using the GLM fixed effects and REML mixed effects models. Differences between varieties for grain
yield and biomass were significant with REML but not with GLM, and the REML analysis was more appropriate.
Varieties HI-1418 and HUW-468 yielded significantly higher than the two check varieties by 8 to 21% with earlier flowering
by 5 to 9 days and earlier maturity by 13 to 16 days. They had significantly shorter reproductive period by 7 to 9 days that imparted
them better terminal drought tolerance. They were also superior to checks for matrix ranking, disease score and number of seeds
per spike. Compared with check varieties, the two new varieties responded to the favorable environments and also maintained
their superiority in the unfavorable environments for grain yield. In general, the results showed that a precise search process
increases the success rate of PVS
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