Discriminate function analysis in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.)
The discriminant function technique was used to construct selection indices in forty two genotypes of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.). Sixty three selection indices involving seed yield per plant and its five components were constructed using the discriminant function technique. The efficiency of selection increased considerably when the selection was based on two character combinations i.e. the number of pods per plant and the number of seeds per pod followed by an index based on three characters viz., the number of clusters per plant and the number of pods per plant and seed yield per plant. The use of these indices is advocated for selecting high yielding genotypes of cowpea as in practice the plant breeder might be interested in the maximum gain with the minimum number of characters.
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