Sintayehu Daba1, Richard D. Horsley1, Paul B. Schwarz1 and Flavio Capettini2, (1)Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (2)Field Crop Development Centre, Alberta Agriculture, Lacombe, AB, Canada
In crop improvement programs, two important components are the generation or introduction of variability for the characters of interest and selection of the best types from the available variability. As part of a larger study using association mapping to map traits in five barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotype groups (Ethiopian landraces and cultivars, as well as materials from ICARDA, Kenya, and NDSU), phenotypic data on traits associated with adaptation were collected. The experiments were conducted at two locations in Ethiopia (Bekoji and Koffele) in 2011 and 2012. The results indicate that the considered traits were shown to be highly variable within and among the five genotype groups. The Ethiopian landraces and cultivars were generally taller than lines in the other three groups and more susceptible to lodging. Maturity was variable among all materials evaluated, but lines were identified from each group with acceptable maturity. The mean number of tillers per plant and kernels per spike were similar for the five groups. Ethiopian landraces and cultivars generally had better foliar disease resistance to the pathogen Rhynchosporium secalis (Oudem.) J.J. Davis, which causes scald. The higher susceptibility of the NDSU and Kenyan lines resulted in lower 1000-kernel weights and percent plump kernels. The cultivars from NDSU were shown to be relatively low in yield performance in Ethiopia, which probably relates to low stand establishment and susceptibility to scald. Compared to lines in the other four groups, the NDSU lines had better malt quality, especially for grain protein content, malt extract, and concentration of beta-glucans and free amino nitrogen. In conclusion, the NDSU materials could have high value as parental materials for breeding programs in Ethiopia, particularly for malt quality traits and straw strength. The Ethiopian materials, may serve as a donor parents for resistance to foliar diseases and local adaptation.