Deciphering the combining ability and gene action for root yield and related traits in ashwagandha [Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal]
Genetics and crop improvement aspects of medicinal plants in Ashwagandha should be taken consideration to meet the accelerating pharmaceutical demands. For a better understanding of the genetic basis of root yield and related traits, a 9 × 9 diallel analysis excluding the reciprocals was carried out using SKA 27, SKA 11, SKA 6, SKA 24, SKA 10, SKA 26, JA 20, JA 134 and AWS 1 as parents. The σ2gca/σ2sca denotes that the majority of the traits considered except plant height and the number of secondary branches were governed by non-additive gene action. The fresh root yield was governed by almost equal proportions of additive and non-additive gene actions with a slight increment in additive proportion. Even though none of the parents was a good general combiner for all the traits considered, SKA 27 and SKA 11 appeared to be the best general combiners for root traits. The crosses JA 20 × AWS 1, SKA 24 × SKA 26 and JA 134 ×AWS 1 were found to be appropriate for the heterosis breeding on the basis of the estimates of SCA effects.
Ashwagandha, combining ability, GCA, SCA, gene action, half-diallel
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