311. Worku N, Heslop-Harrison JS, Wakjira A. 2015. Diversity in 198 Ethiopian linseed (Linum usitatissimum) accessions based on morphological characterization and seed oil characteristics. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (GRACE) 62: 1037–1053. doi:10.1007/s10722-014-0207-1 (on-line 20 Jan 2015). And Worku: Linum / Linseed Morphological Diversity in Ethiopia – Author Version.
Morphological and molecular characterization of germplasm is important for the sustainable exploitation of crops. Linseed or flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is a multipurpose crop grown in many environments for food, feed, fibre and industry. In Ethiopia, a centre of diversity for linseed, it is valued for food and export. Here, we aimed to develop and use a set of morphological descriptors to determine levels and patterns of diversity in Ethiopian germplasm from the tropical highlands (3-15°N, >2000 m a.s.l.) in 198 Ethiopian traditional varieties. The Ethiopian traditional varieties included plants with both fibre and oil-seed stem-branching morphotypes, although most were relatively small-seeded. Traditional variety oil quality was assessed; oil content was as low as 30% compared to 47% reported elsewhere. Days-to-flowering and days-to-maturity varied widely and were highly heritable. Ethiopian linseed had dominant and recessive yellow seed genotypes; some had a recessive twinned or conjoined-seed character. The descriptors developed here will be useful for genetic mapping and selection of breeding lines. The results show the range of characters which can be exploited in breeding lines appropriate for smallholder and commercial farmers in Ethiopia, producing a sustainable, secure, high-value crop meeting agricultural, economic and cultural needs.
See also related post: https://molcyt.org/2013/05/07/worku-mhiret-biodiversity-and-its-exploitation-in-ethiopian-linseed/ about the trials.
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