Combining ability for seed yield and yield components in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

Mohamed Y. Mohamed, Ibrahim N. Elzein, Mohamed E. Ahmed, Abu Elhassan S. Ibrahim


This study was conducted using four cytoplasmic male sterile lines (cms) and ten restorers of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) in a line x tester fashions in summer and winter season of 2007at Sennar Research Station Farm, Agricultural Research Corporation, Sudan. The objectives were to determine the general combining ability and specific combining ability effects among 14 parents and their 40 crosses for seed yield and other agronomic traits. The experiment was carried out under supplementary irrigation using a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. The traits studied were days to 50% flowering, plant height (cm), head diameter(cm), number of seeds per head, percentage of empty seeds, 1000-seed weight (g), and seed yield (kg/ha). Analysis of variance of the combining abilities revealed highly significant differences for general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA). The highest contribution to the total variance was expressed by SCA for most important traits. The non-additive gene effects were found to be important for the inheritance of all traits except for plant height which was controlled by additive gene effect in the base material. The cms lines SA3 and SA4 and restorers SR41, SR45, SR10 and SR13 were better general combiners for most of the traits including seed yield across two seasons. The best combining hybrids for seed yield in the combined analysis were SA4 x SR1, SA3 x SR41, SA4 x SR45, SA3 x SR13 and SA3 x SR10. The greatest average contribution to the expression of most of the traits was found in the line x tester interaction, while the contribution of the female (A-line) and the male (R-line) were less significant. The simple correlation analysis revealed that seed yield was positively and significantly correlated with 1000-seed weight, head diameter and number of seeds per head and negatively correlated with percentage of empty seeds. Thus, the highly significant SCA effects in the superior crosses could be utilized in heterosis breeding to develop of high yielding local single-cross hybrids or produce synthetic composite varieties.

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