Multidimensional crop improvement research on grain legumes in Ethiopia
Three Ethiopian MSc. students, who contributed to ICARDA’s research on multidimensional improvement of grain legumes recently graduated from Ethiopian Universities. Tena Alemu and Asemahegn Mersha graduated from Hawassa University under joint supervision of Jane Wamatu (ICARDA), Adugna Tolera and Mohammed Beyan. Teklu Wegi graduated from Haramaya University under joint supervision of Jane Wamatu, Adugna Tolera and Getachew Animut. The USAID-funded Africa RISING project and the Livestock and Fish CGIAR program jointly supported Tena and Asemahegn while Teklu was entirely supported by Africa RISING.
The students have unlocked key trends and trait relationships across grain legume crops that can inform and further guide crop improvement.
Asemahegn, who evaluated the cultivar-dependent variation in food-feed traits in lentil (Lens culinaris), determined that there are significant genotypic and location variations for grain yield and straw traits in lentil and GL has significant effects. Correlations between grain and straw yields are positive, moderate and significant (r=0.52, P<0.001). There are strong and negative correlations (r=-0.73, P<0.001) between crude protein and grain yield and weak correlations (r=-0.03; P= 0.491) between grain yield and metabolizable energy content (ME). Download the thesis.
Tena evaluated the variability of food-feed traits in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) varieties and reported that there are significant genotypic and locational variations for grain yield and straw traits in chickpea. GL has significant effects. Grain and straw yield correlates significantly and weakly (r=0.37, P<0.001), the association between crude protein and grain yield is weak (r=-0.06) and correlations between grain yield and metabolizable energy are weak (r=0.061; P=0.021). Download the thesis.
Teklu evaluated the effects of feeding different released varieties of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) namely Mosisa, Walki, Degaga, Shallo and a local variety on feed intake, digestibility, body weight gain and carcass characteristics of Arsi-Bale sheep, Significant genotypic (P<0.01) variations in the nutritive value of faba bean straw were detected. There were moderate and significant correlation between grain and straw yields (r=0.66, P<0.001). Crude protein and grain yield correlations were weak and negative (-0.12, P=0.042) and correlations between grain yield and metabolizable energy were weak (r=0.164; P=0.050). Further, there was evidence of differences in dry matter (DM) intake, DM and organic matter digestibility, average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency. There was no difference (P>0.05) in carcass characteristics. Mosisa and Walki varieties were identified as dual, food-feed varieties for Bale Highlands. Download the thesis.
Prepared by Jane Wamatu, Small Ruminant Nutritionist, ICARDA