Assessing yield performance and stability of local sorghum genotypes: A methodological framework combining multi-environment trials and participatory multi-trait evaluation.

Kondombo CP, Kaboré P, Kambou D, Ouédraogo I

Published: 20 January 2024 in Heliyon
Keywords: Farmers' preferences, Grain yield stability, Mega-environment, Multi-environment trials, Sorghum
Pubmed ID: 38370242
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e25114

Sorghum grain is a vital staple cereal crop for food and nutritional security for rural households in Burkina Faso. However, its yields are regularly affected by environmental and socio-economic constraints. Here, we aim to assess the performance and grain yield stability of local sorghum genotypes, as well as their acceptability by smallholder farmers. Nine genotypes were assessed across five environments in the North-Sudanian zone (700-900 mm) in Burkina Faso during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 rainy seasons. A randomized complete block with three replications was used to establish the experiments, from which data were collected on five quantitative traits as well as five participatory assessment criteria chosen by sorghum farmers and users. Grain yield analysis for each environment revealed significant differences between genotypes. The combined analysis showed highly significant differences between genotypes, environments and years, as well as their interactions. Most of the variation in grain yield was hexplained by the environment effect (29.0%), followed by the environment-by-year interaction (20.3%). The GGE biplot analysis identified two mega-environments (ME) with ME1 consisting of one environment (E1) and ME2, represented by four environments (E2, E3, E4, and E5). The E1 is a non-discriminating and poor environment with the lowest grain yield (1506 kg ha-1). The E5 and E2 were respectively, the most discriminating and representative environments, with also the highest grain yields (2406 and 2102 kg ha-1). In terms of stability, genotypes G6, G3, G5, and G9 exhibited the highest stability but lower performance, while G4 was the most unstable. G2 and G8, which produced respectively 2240 and 2072 kg ha-1, were better adapted to ME2. G2 was identified as the closest to the "ideal genotype". The principal component analysis showed that genotypes G2, G8, G7, G4, and G9 were the most selected in both individual and group assessments, owing to the panicle productivity, the good grain quality for storability, the grain attractiveness, and grain heaviness. This study highlighted the potential of genotypes G2 and G8 as promising varieties that could broaden the range of improved varieties and offer income opportunities for sorghum smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso.