Tannia is one of the most important root and tuber crops for food, feed and industrial applications worldwide. However, the progress to variety development in Ethiopia is so slow due to lack of adequate germplasm characterization and agronomic evaluation for yield and quality. Therefore, a total of 64 tannia genotypes were studied to determine the extent of genetic variability among genotypes at Jimma agriculture research center during 2013/2014 cropping season. 62 of the genotypes were collected from south, south western and western parts of Ethiopia and the rest two were introduced from Cuba, laid out in 8 × 8 simple lattice design. Analysis of variance revealed significant (P£0.01) differences for most of the characters, indicating the existence of variability among the studied genotypes. High phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) along with moderate to high genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) as well as high heritability coupled with high genetic advance as percent of the mean were obtained for number of suckers per plant, number of cormel per plant, total yield per plant, corm and cormel fresh weight per plant. This indicates that there is an opportunity and potential for further utilization of its genetic improvement through selection and hybridization. However, the presence of morphological variation between genotypes is not a guarantee for high genetic variation. Hence, there is a need to confirm genotype-environment interactions and use biotechnological approaches as a complementary to this study.
Key words: Genetic advance, genetic variability, genotypic coefficient of variation, heritability.
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