Genetic Variation of Clonally Propagated Tall Wheat Grass Genotypes (Agropyron elongatum)



Tall wheat grass (Agropyron elongatum), as many other grasses, benefits from wide genetic bases in Iran. Estimation of genetic diversity and a selection of suitable genotypes is the initial step for developing adaptable synthetic varieties in many cool season grasses. In order to investigate production, variation and genetic similarity of 25 tall wheat grass genotypes, an experiment was conducted using clonally propagated material. Genotypes were evaluated for agronomic, phenological and morphological traits using a randomized complete block design during 2005 and 2006. Results indicated that there were significant differences between genotypes for all the traits examined indicating a broad genetic diversity in this germplasem. The highest estimates of heritability were observed for days to heading, days to pollination and plant height, while the lowest observed for crown diameter. Genotypic coefficients of variability were highest, for forage and seed yield while the lowest belonging to phenological traits and crown diameter. Applying cluster analysis on the studied attributes, three groups were obtained. Regarding all the assessed characters the least and the most similar accessions were identified to be used in the further future breeding projects. Finally, on the basis of the results it can be concluded that clonally evaluation trails can be useful in estimating the genetic variation and selection of appropriate parents for conducting advanced breeding programs.