Research, selection and protection of landraces in most countries of the world are very important and considered as one of the most important and significant issues in plant breeding programs. Despite the recent progresses in plant breeding programs, using of landraces is still particularly important, especially in the self pollinated crops. In breeding programs, the existence of favorable variation in the population is essential and without variation, the progress and development of breeding programs will be slow process. Lentil seeds are a major role in feed and food security for millions of people, especially among the low income Asian population, because of protein content and cheap price. The lentil plant has also played an important role as a rotation crop for increasing the fertility of soils and it has been special attention for agronomists and researchers in case of sustainable agriculture. Food legume cultivation traditionally is common in Iran. Except in the northern wet areas, lentil cultivated in most parts of Iran. Its cultivation areas is 150-200 thousand hectares and ranked as second important food legume in the drylands area. There are little studies about evaluation and purification of lentil landraces in Iran. Kouhin region in Ghazvin province with about 12000 hectare lentil cultivated area is one of the most favorite regions of cultivation and production of lentil in Iran. Green Koohin lentil landrace has good quality and nutritional value and is famous for consumers in the country.
This study was performed to evaluate a lentil landrace originated from Kouhin region in Ghazvin province. The experiment was conducted for two consecutive seasons during 2010-12 under field condition in Maragheh Dryland Agricultural Research Station (Latitude 37°15′ N, Longitude 46°15΄ E, and Altitude 1720 meter above sea level). In spring 2011 and 2012, the seeds of 120 pure lines (individual plants that were selected from Kouhin landrace), planted at farm under rainfed condition and eight traits (No. of days to flowering, No. of days to maturity, grain filling period, plant height, 100 seed weight, seed yield, biological yield and harvest index) were noted. Statistical parameters (maximum, minimum, mean, standard division and phenotypic coefficient of variance) were calculated for noted characteristics. After standardization of data, distance modulus squared Euclidean distance cluster analysis was done in Ward method.
Analysis of variance results showed that there were significant differences between the genotypes in all studied traits except in the case of biomass yield and harvest index. These results indicating the existence of genetic diversity among the pure lines extracted from the Kouhin lentil landrace. Results of estimating descriptive statistics of studied characteristics in the 120 pure lines showed that, the grain yield among the studied characteristics in two years means had the highest diversity. In the first year, the minimum and maximum grain yield (160 and 1420 Kg/ha) belonged to genotypes No. 98 and No. 14, respectively. In the second year grain yield was also varied from 170 Kg/ha (genotype no. 113) to 980 Kg/ha (genotype no. 73). This result indicated the existence of high performance potential within the Kouhin landrace and in order to improve the grain yield of population, identification and purification of the high yielding genotypes from population recommended. Among the studied traits the minimum diversity belonged to number of days from plating till flowering and maturity. Regarding to this point that the Kouhin landrace was cultivated from long time ago by farmers, natural factors such as day length, existence of drought stress (especially after flowering because of dryland farming) removed the late genotypes and caused relatively hemozigosity on these two traits in the Kouhin population. Results of clustering showed that genotypes were categorized in six groups. Twenty five genotypes were in the fifth group that their grain yield (527.6±126.8 Kg/ha) was higher than other groups.
The results of this study showed that it could be improved the grain yield and other characterstics of Kouhin population under drylands condition by selection of pure lines. Also it is possible to use the existing potentialities in Kouhin landrace (genetic diversity) in the lentil breeding programs under dryland condition. Conclusion of the results showed that there is suit variation in Kouhin lentil landrace and it could be used as a precious resource for lentil breeding programs under dryland of Iran.
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