Association of lodging and some morpho-agronomic traits in tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter]. (169)
Keywords:Correlation, Path-analysis, Lodging, Selection, Tef, Yield
AbstractThe relationship between lodging and a number of morpho-agronomic characters in 30 tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] genotypes was evaluated by means of correction and path-coefficient analyses. Lodging index was negatively associated with days to heading, number of internodes, and culm diameter at the second internode while it was positively and significantly correlated with grain yield and shoot biomass. The remaining characters showed positive, but non-significant correlation with lodging index. Plant height, culm length, culm diameter at the second internode, and panicle weight were positively and highly significantly interrelated. Significant negative direct effects were exerted on lodging by plant height, panicle length, and culm diameter at the second internode. Although grain yield was positively correlated with lodging index, its direct effect on lodging index was small and not significant indicating that grain yield contribution to lodging was through other traits like culm diameter. There were large positive direct influences on lodging index by culm length, panicle weight, and shoot biomass, through which positive indirect effects were shown suggesting that these characters can be considered in a selection model while selecting for lodging resistance and high-yielding capability. Indirect effects of most of the characters were generally negative and very low. The correlation and path analysis indicated that relating a single character to lodging was not a reliable or satisfactory method of assessing lodging resistance of tef genotypes. The study revealed that a multitude of morpho-agronomic characters like culm diameter, plant height, culm length, panicle length, culm diameter at second internode, panicle weight, and shoot biomass need to be considered while selecting for lodge-resistant and high-yielding cultivars in tef breeding programmes.