Registration of a New “Improved Huruta” Shallot Variety with True Seed Production Potential

  • Wassu Mohammed Plant Sciences
  • Kebede Woldetsadik Plant Sciences
  • Bekele Kebede Plant Sciences
Keywords: Keywords: Allium cepa var. ascalonicum Backer; Improved Huruta Shallot Variety; Marketable bulb yield; Stability; True seed.


Abstract: Shallot (Allium cepa var. ascalonicum Backer) is an important vegetable crop cultivated by
smallholder farmers for consumption and income generation in Ethiopia. However, scarcity of high
yielding varieties as well as lack of superior planting material seriously constrains productivity of the
crop. The crop has degenerate seed production potential and it is usually established using bulbs. The
perishability of the fleshy planting material and its sheer bulkiness and predisposition to fungal and
viral disease creates difficulties in handling the material. What is more, large quantities of bulbs are
required to plant a relatively small area of land, which exacerbates the problem of shortage of planting
material. Also it is the edible part of the plant that is used for planting, which compromises the
potential for consumption and marketing. Therefore, a research project was initiated aiming at
producing true seeds from the non-seed producing Huruta variety. A series of experiments were
conducted using the randomized complete block design to identify the appropriate planting date and
plant growth hormone application (gibberellin acid, GA3) for bolting and seed production. As a result,
the original non-seed producing Huruta variety was essentially improved for production of true seeds
and bulb through seed-to bulb to seed selection method. Thus, a shallot (Allium cepa var. ascalonicum
Backer) variety with the original name Huruta (DZ-SHT-91) was tested. The variety was evaluated for
production of bulbs and true seeds over several years (2010 to 2017) at 12 different locations as well
as on fields of 28 farmers along with three onion varieties, namely, Adama Red, Bombay Red and Kelafo
hybrid as well as three shallot (Huruta produced from bulb, Atilase and Dz-94) varieties. The
performance of the shallot variety was evaluated against commercial onion varieties propagated by
true seeds to verify its stability and superiority for bulb and seed productions. The shallot variety was
more stable over locations and years. It had an average true seed yield advantage of about 321% over
the three onion and shallot varieties. It had also average marketable bulb yield and marketable bulb
weight advantages of 35 and 31%, respectively, over the three onion varieties. Therefore, this variety
was selected, verified, and declared as Improved Huruta shallot variety with potential of producing true
seed. Owing to its advantage over the tested commercial onion varieties for production of true seeds
and bulb as well as many other superior bulb quality traits, this variety was approved for cultivation at
mid and high altitude areas of eastern Ethiopia and similar agroecologies of the country. Therefore,
the release of this new shallot variety will contribute to enhanced production of the crop not only
owing to its high bulb yield but also because it affords farmers the opportunity to effectively and
efficiently propagate the crop using true seed. Enhanced production of the cop will also lead to
improved farmers’ income and livelihoods.

Author Biographies

Wassu Mohammed, Plant Sciences

School of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Kebede Woldetsadik, Plant Sciences

School of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Bekele Kebede, Plant Sciences

School of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Crop Variety Registration

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