Review on Genetic Variability and Divergence in Bread Wheat Triticum aestivum L
Keywords:Wheat, second major food crop, rice, Ethiopia, production, crop, crop production, crop plants
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the second major food crop of the world in its importance next to rice. In Ethiopia the crop ranks third in terms of total production next to teff and maize. It is largely grown in the highlands of the country and constitutes roughly 20-30 % of the annual cereal production and plays an appreciable role of supplying the production with carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. Genetic diversity and variability are essential to meet the diversified goals of plant breeding such as breeding for increasing yield, wider adaptation, desirable quality, and pest and disease resistance. Genetic divergence analysis estimates the extent of diversity existed among selected genotypes. In common parlance, genetic variability and genetic diversity are considered synonym to each other which is erroneous. Genetic variability is the variation in alleles of genes or variation in DNA/RNA sequences in the gene pool of a species or population which expresses itself in terms of alternate forms in phenotype. Genetic diversity, on the other hand, is a broad term encompassing all the variability occurring among different genotypes with respect to total genetic make-up of genotypes related to single species or between species. Genetic similarity or dissimilarity can be compared by genetic distance between different individuals. Genetic distance can be used to measure the genetic divergence between different sub-species or different varieties of a species. Different characters of bread wheat show different contribution towards genetic variability and divergence. Estimate of heritability is very important to know the attribute to genetic variance not only in bread wheat but also in any crop plants.
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