Elucidating combining ability, gene action and heterosis for yield and yield contributing traits in finger millet (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn)
In order to explore the genetic architecture of finger millet through combining ability studies, the present investigation was carried out using 20 hybrids which were produced using five lines and four testers in a Line x Tester mating design. Among the parents, the line GPU 48 and the tester KMR 301 were found to be the good general combiners with significant per se for most of the traits studied. Hybrids viz., GPU 48 x KMR 301, GPU 48 x PR 1506, PYR1 x KMR 301 and Udurumallige x PR 1506 showed significant positive values for per se performance, sca effect, mid parent heterosis and better parent heterosis for grain yield per plant. The cross GPU 48 x KMR 301 derived from high x high general combining parents exhibited higher positive significant value for all the three types of heterosis for grain yield per plant. The hybrids GPU 48 x KMR 301, GPU 48 x PR 1506, PYR1 x KMR 301 and Udurumallige x PR 1506 were good specific combiners for yield and yield contributing traits. In all these crosses, at least one good general combining parent is involved which indicates that good general combiners serve as the best tool in enlightening the crop yield by manipulating the genetic architecture. Combining ability variances indicated that even if GCA and SCA variances were profound, SCA variances were higher than GCA variances for all the characters studied representing the predominance of non-additive type of gene action in the inheritance of traits under present study.
Keywords: Finger millet, Combining ability. per se, GCA, SCA and Heterosis
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