Research Article

Stability Analysis for the Grain Yield of Some Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Genotypes Growing under Semi-arid Conditions

A. Guendouz and H. Bendada

  • Page No:  172 - 178
  • Published online: 28 Feb 2022
  • DOI : HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.23910/1.2022.2469

  • Abstract

The Field experiment was conducted during 03 cropping season from 2017 to 2020 and sowing at the same period in December at the experimental field of ITGC, Setif, Algeria. The aims of this study were the selection of adapted and stable genotypes based on the use of parametric and non-parametric index. To calculate the parametric and non-parametric index we used the program STABILITYSOFT. The graphic distribution of the genotypes tested based on the relationship between the mean grain yield and regression coefficient (bi), proved that the suitable genotypes for the tested conditions were the advanced line G2, Fouarra and G12. The values of deviation from regression (S²di) classified the genotype the advanced line G6 as the most desirable genotypes. The association between Wricke’s ecovalence (Wi²) indice and the grain yield proved that the best genotypes for growing under these conditions are G13, G10, G6 and Fouarra. In addition, the non-parametric index confirmed the results which registered by the selection based on the parametric index. Thus, the genotypes Fouarra and the advanced line G6 are the most stable genotypes. The combination selection based on highest grain yield and the parametric indices proved that the genotypes G6, Fouarra and G2 were the more stable and adapted genotypes under semi-arid conditions. The Principal component (PC) analysis classified the genotype Fouarra and G2 in dynamic stability group with highest grain yield. Overall, the results of this study confirmed that the parametric and Non-parametric methods were the suitable tools to identify the most stable barley genotypes at various environmental conditions. In addition, the best adapted and stable genotypes during this study were Fouarra and G6.

Keywords :   Algeria, barley, non-parametric, parametric, stability


    Among the cereals, barley is the firstborn domesticated food-cereal across the globe (Bendada et al., 2021); is one of a few crops grown successfully in semi-arid areas, where rainfall varies significantly with year. Algeria with its topographical and bioclimatic characteristics which make it possible to show a diversity of landscapes and cropping systems, cereal growing is the predominant speculation of agriculture. It extends over an annual area of ​​about 3.6 million hectares compared to the useful agricultural area (UAA) (MADR, 2012). Yield stability is an important criterion for the development of cultivars intended for environments with variable rainfall. Many methods of stability analysis are proposed in the literature such as parametric and non-parametric stability indices (Benmahammad et al., 2010; Rose et al., 2008). Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is predominant to be the most drought tolerant of the small grain cereal crops (barley, durum wheat and bread wheat) and is a major crop in Middle East and North Africa countries, because it is the predominant crop lower 300 mm of annual rainfall. In Mediterranean areas barley is primarily grown as animal feed and both grain and straw yields are used (Fatma et al.,2018). Drought stress decreases grain yield of barley genotypes through negative influence on yield components i.e. No. of plants/unit area, No. of spikes and grains per plant or unit area and 1000-grain weight, which are determined at different stages of plant development (Haddadin, 2015; Al-Ajlouni et al., 2016). The importance of G × E interactions in national cultivar evaluation and breeding programs have been demonstrated in almost all major crops, including wheat genotypes (Frih et al., 2021). Multi Environment Trials are important in plant breeding and agronomy for studying yield stability and predicting yield performance of genotypes across environments. Genotype x environment interactions (GEI) complicates the identification of superior genotypes (Sankar et al., 2021) but their interpretation can be facilitated by the use of several statistical modelling methods. GEI occurs when the genotypes respond differently across environments, and it is considered one of the main factors limiting progress in breeding and, hence, in agricultural production. The first and most common approach is parametric, which relies on distributional assumptions about genotypic, environmental and GxE effects. The second major approach is the non-parametric or analytical clustering approach, which relates environments and phenotypes relative to biotic and abiotic environmental factors without making specific modelling assumptions. Several parametric methods including univariate and multivariate ones have been developed to assess the stability and adaptability of varieties. The parametric approach continent many indices such as the regression coefficient (bi; Finlay and Wilkinson, 1963), variance of deviations from the regression (S²di; Eberhart and Russell, 1966), Wricke’s ecovalence stability index (Wi²; Wricke, 1962), Shukla’s stability variance (σi²; Shukla, 1972), environmental coefficient of variance (CVi; Francis and Kannenberg, 1978) and the yield stability index (YSi; Kang, 1991). The second group of analytical methods includes non-parametric methods such as Nassar and Huhn’s statistics (S(1), S(2); Nassar and Huhn, 1987), Huhn’s equation (S(3) and S(6); Huhn, 1990), Thennarasu’s statistics (NP(i); Thennarasu, 1995). Non-parametric statistics are a feasible alternative to parametric statistics because their performance is based on ranked data (Nassar and Huhn, 1987) and no assumptions are needed about the distribution and homogeneity of the variance of the errors. Because each method has its own merits and weaknesses, most breeding programs now incorporate both parametric and non-parametric methods for the selection of stable genotypes. The aim of this study is to select adapted and stable barley genotypes based on the some parametric and non-parametric methods.


    2.1.  Plant material and field conditions

    Field experiment was conducted during the 2017-2020 cropping seasons at the experimental field of ITGC, Setif, Algeria (5°20’E, 36°8’N, 958 m above mean sea level). The statistical design employed was based on a complete randomized block design (CRBD) with three replications. Sixteen Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes were used in this study. The seeds were sown using an experimental drill in 1.2 m×2.5 m plots consisting of 6 rows with a 20 cm row space and the seeding rate is about 250 seeds per m2.

    2.2.  Statistical analysis

    2.2.1.  Parametric measures

    The regression coefficient (bi) is the response of the genotype to the environmental index that is derived from the average performance of all genotypes in each environment (Finlay and Wilkinson 1963). If bi does not significantly differ from 1, then the genotype is adapted to all environments. In addition to the regression coefficient, variance of deviations from the regression (S²di) has been suggested as one of the most-used parameters for the selection of stable genotypes. Genotypes with an S²di=0 would be most stable, while an S²di>0 would indicate lower stability across all environments. Hence, genotypes with lower values are the most desirable (Eberhart and Russell 1966). Wricke (1962) proposed the concept of ecovalence as the contribution of each genotype to the GEI sum of squares. The ecovalence (Wi) of the ith genotype is its interaction with the environments, squared and summed across environments. Thus, genotypes with low values have smaller deviations from the mean across environments and are more stable. Finally, the coefficient of variation is suggested by Francis and Kannenberg (1978) as a stability statistic through the combination of the coefficient of variation, mean yield, and environmental variance. Genotypes with low CVi, low environmental variance (EV), and high mean yield are considered to be the most desirable.

    2.2.2. Non-Parametric measures

    Huhn (1990) and Nassar and Huhn (1987) suggested four non-parametric statistics. We use during this study two parameters: (1) S(1), the mean of the absolute rank differences of a genotype over all tested environments; (2) S(6), the sum of squares of rank for each genotype relative to the mean of ranks. The lowest value for each of these statistics reveals high stability for a certain genotype. In addition, four NP (1–4) statistics are a set of alternative non-parametric stability statistics defined by Thennarasu (1995). We use just tow parameters (NP(2) and NP(4)). These parameters are based on the ranks of adjusted means of the genotypes in each environment. Low values of these statistics reflect high stability. The data were analyzed by the using of the online software (STABILITYSOFT) developed by Pour-Aboughadareh et al. (2019).  


    3.1. Parametric measures

    The Table 1, showed that the values of regression coefficient (bi) varied from 1.685 for the advanced line G5 (2 row spike type) to 0.172 for the local landrace Saida 183 (6 row spike type). This variation in regression coefficients indicates that genotypes had different responses to environmental changes. Based on the definition described by Pour-Aboughadareh et al. (2019) the genotypes with low values (bi<1) are very suitable to low-yielding environments, but the contrary for the genotypes with high values (bi>1).

    The local landrace Saida 183 and Tichedrette are very suitable to growing under the poor condition or just under rainfall conditions. In addition, the graphical distribution (Figure 1) between the regression coefficient and the mean grain yield of tested genotypes proved that the adapted and stable genotypes with high mean grain yield under these conditions are G2, Fouarra and G12.

    The advanced line G1, G3, G5, G6, G10 and G13 are greater specificity of adaptability to high-yielding environments (Irrigated conditions). According to Megahed et al. (2018) genotypes with regression coefficient greater than unity would be adapted to more favorable environments. The values of deviation from regression (S²di) classified the genotype G4 (2 row spike type) as the most desirable genotypes, but with mean grain yield (39.8) lowest than the general mean of grain yield (42.26). The combination between the S²di and the mean grain yield of tested genotypes proved that the advanced line G5, G6 and G13 have lowest values of S²di and highest mean grain yield (>general mean of grain yield). Genotypes with high mean yield, a regression coefficient equal to the unity (bi = 1) and small deviations from regression (S²di=0) are considered stable (Eberhart and Russell, 1966). The graphical distribution (Figure 2) between the Wricke’s ecovalence stability index (Wi²) and the mean grain yield of tested genotypes proved that the adapted and stable genotypes with high mean grain yield under these conditions are G13, G6, G10 and Fouarra. The genotype Saida 183 displayed high ecovalence and is classified as unstable genotype with lowest mean grain yield (35.02). The lowest value of Wi² is registered by G9, this one have bi equal to the unity (0.932), lowest values of S²di (0.062) and mean grain yield equal 41.11 (General mean of GY=42.26). In contrary, based on the environmental coefficient of variance (CVi) the genotype Saida183 is very stable, but with lowest mean grain yield (35.02). Many studies confirmed the efficiency of using like these parametric index to select adapted and stable barley genotypes (Ramla et al., 2016; Verma et al., 2019) and stable durum wheat genotypes (Guendouz and Hafsi, 2017). 

    3.2.  Non-parametric measures

    Accordingly, Si(1) and Si(6) of the tested genotypes (Table 1) showed that the advanced line G6 had the lowest values; therefore, this genotypes were regarded as the most stable genotypes according to Si(1) and Si(6) with highest grain yield 49.92 q ha-1. In addition, the graphical distribution (Figure 3) between the Nassar and Huhn’s non-parametric index (Si(1)) and the mean grain yield of tested genotypes showed that the adapted and stable genotypes with high mean grain yield under these conditions are G6, Fouarra, G10, G13 and G2.

    In contrary, the advanced line G1 had the highest values of  Si(1)  and Si(6) and high mean grain yield (42.32) over general grain yield equal 42.26 q ha-1. Our results are in according with the research of Khalili and Pour-Aboughadareh (2016), which proved that the indices of Nassar and Huhn’s are very suitable to select stable and adapted barley genotypes. Based on the non-parametric index developed by Thennarasu (1995), the advanced line G6 is the more stable genotype over all genotypes tested with lowest values for the both index tested (NP2 and NP4) and highest mean grain yield (49.92 q ha-1). In addition, the graphical classification based on the distribution (Figure 4) between the Thennarasu’s non-parametric index and the mean grain yield of tested genotypes showed that the adapted and stable genotypes are G6, Fouarra, G10, G13, G2 and G12. Many researchers suggested that the used non-parametric measures cited below in the selection of stable durum wheat and barley genotypes (Guendouz and Hafsi, 2017; Hannachi et al., 2019; Khalili and Pour-Aboughadareh, 2016) are very suitable under arid and semi-arid conditions.

    3.3.  Association among stability parameters and grain yield

    The results of Spearman’s coefficient of rank correlations between mean grain yield and the different parametric and non-parametric stability measures are shown in Table 1. The mean grain yield correlated significantly and negatively with all non-parametric indices tested. Many studies registered like this significant correlation in Barley (Khalili and Pour-Aboughadareh, 2016). Thus, selection of stable genotypes based on these stability parameters may not enable barley breeders to identify genotypes that are both high-yielding and stable. A study of durum wheat genotypes using the same stability parameters (Kilic et al., 2010) also identified below-average-yielding genotypes as the most stable and the highest-yielding genotypes as more unstable. In addition, no significant correlations are registered between the mean grain yield and the parametric indices (Table 1). As illustrated in the Table 1, significant correlation registered between the different parametric and non-parametric indices. Many studies revealed that S(1) and S(6) were positively and significantly correlated with each other and with NP(2) and NP(4) (Pour-Aboughadareh et al., 2019). During this study significant and positive correlation registered between S(1) and S(6) (r = 0.86***) and among S(6) and NP(4) (r=0.99***), Kilic (2012) reported that this significant positive correlation between these stability parameters suggests that these parameters would play similar roles to select adapted and stable genotypes. The Wricke’s ecovalence stability index (Wi²) registered positive and significant correlation with all non-parametric indices tested; these results indicate that these parameters plays similar roles in the selection of stable barley genotypes. 

    3.4.  Classification based on principal component analysis

    Principal component (PC) analysis based on the rank correlation matrix was performed and presented in Figure 5.

    The results proved that the first and second principal components of the rank correlation accounted for 57.16% and 18.76% of the variation, respectively, making a total of 75.92% of the original variance among the stability parameters, many studies have been reported like these results in durum wheat (Kilic et al., 2010) and barley (Mut et al., 2010). The static and dynamic yield stability concepts describe the differential response of genotypes to variable environments (Becker and Leon, 1988). Based on the PC analysis the parametric indices bi and CVi are associated with dynamic stability but other indices are associated with static stability. In addition, the principal component analysis classified the genotypes Fouarra and G2 in dynamic stability group with highest grain yield.  The high yield performance of released genotypes is one of the most important targets of breeders; therefore, they prefer a dynamic concept of stability because this concept of stability means that a genotype would show high response to different levels of inputs such as fertilizer, temperature and humidity. 


    The classification based on the mean grain yield describe that the genotypes G6, Fouarra and G2 had the highest grain yield. The selection of adapted and stable genotypes based on Parametric and Non-parametric indices of tested genotypes proved that the adapted and stable genotypes with high mean grain yield under these conditions are G2, G6, Fouarra, G10, G13, G2, G12 and G13. The Principal component analysis classified the genotype Fouarra and G2 in dynamic stability group with highest grain yield.

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Guendouz A, Bendada H. Stability Analysis for the Grain Yield of Some Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Genotypes Growing under Semi-arid Conditions IJBSM [Internet]. 28Feb.2022[cited 8Feb.2022];13(1):172-178. Available from:

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