Combining ability analysis for grain yield and its components in pearl millet

Yahia D. Eldie, Abu Elhassan S. Ibrahim, Adam M. Ali


The current pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) experiments, arranged in a randomized complete block design, were carried out in Sudan during the rainy season of 2006 at two locations (Wad Medani and Elgedarif). The hybridization plan consisted of four male and 15 female parents giving 60 crosses following line x tester arrangement. The crosses and their parents were sown on the 28th of July at Wad Medani and the 17th of July at Elgedarif. The traits measured were days to 50% flowering, plant height, stover, panicle, biomass and grain yields. The analysis of variance showed significant differences among the parents and crosses at both locations.  Combining ability analysis showed that non-additive gene effects were important for inheritance of stover, panicle, biomass and grain yields. This result indicates that dominance and epistatic interactions seemed to be predominant for these characters, whereas additive gene effects were observed for days to 50% flowering and plant height, indicating that inheritance of these traits was due to GCA effects and were largely controlled by additive gene action in the base material. Combining ability analysis showed that parents, ICMA97333, ICMA96222, Baladi yellow, SADC togo and Topcross P1 were good combiners for high grain yield as well as for most of the other traits measured in this study. Assessment of SCA effects for grain yield at Wad Medani revealed that genotype Baldai white x ICMA97333 had maximum positive SCA effects and high per se performance followed by SADC togo x ICMA96222, while at Elgedarif Topcross x ICMA99111 had the highest positive SCA effects followed by ICMV155 x

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