Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] Breeding

  • Solomon Chanyalew
  • Kebebew Assefa
  • Zerihun TadeleEmail author


Tef or teff [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter], a cereal crop which adapts to extreme climatic and soil conditions, is extensively cultivated in the Horn of Africa. It is also considered as nutritious and a life-style crop due to its richness in essential nutrients and health-related benefits. However, the productivity of the crop is extremely low due to little scientific improvement made globally. It is, therefore, in the category of orphan crops. Together with all cereal crops, tef belongs to the Grass or Poaceae family. The improvement of tef focuses on selection and hybridization techniques. However, recently, molecular and high-throughput techniques have also been implemented to a limited scale. Forty-two tef varieties were approved for release by the Ethiopian National Variety Release Committee in the past four decades. Due to the adoption of improved varieties and technologies, the national average yield of tef has more than doubled over the last 20 years. This review describes the progress in tef breeding and variety development as well as dissemination of the improved varieties to the farming community.


Accessions Breeding Eragrostis tef Hybridization Molecular breeding Mutation breeding Tef varieties 



The tef research in Ethiopia and Switzerland is supported by Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Bern and the Ethiopian government. We thank Sonia Plaza-Wüthrich for providing Fig. 10.5 and Regula Blösch for Fig. 10.6.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solomon Chanyalew
    • 1
  • Kebebew Assefa
    • 1
  • Zerihun Tadele
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural ResearchBishoftuEthiopia
  2. 2.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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