Combining ability studies for grain yield and its component traits in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp)
Combining ability analysis was carried out in cowpea for yield and its component traits through Line × Tester design involving 24 hybrids by crossing 10 parents (6 lines and 4 testers). Analysis of variance revealed that non-additive gene action was prevalent for all the traits studied since the magnitude of SCA variances were higher than GCA variances and less magnitude of GCA:SCA ratio further confirmed it. Among the lines, VBN 1 had significant gca values for seven traits viz., days to 50% flowering, plant height, number of pods per plant, pod length, hundred seed weight, protein content and single plant yield and VBN 2 was the best general combiner for five traits like number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, hundred seed weight, protein content and single plant yield. The tester VCP-09-019 was regarded as the best general combiner among the testers for the traits such as plant height, pod length and single plant yield. The cross VBN 1 × VCP-09-013 which showed significant sca for six traits viz., days to 50% flowering, plant height, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, protein content and single plant yield followed by the hybrid CO 6 × VCP-09-024 was showing best specific combining ability for five traits viz., plant height, number of pods per plant, pod length, hundred seed weight and single plant yield.
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