Heterosis and Combining Ability in Citrullus mucosospermus (Fursa) for Fruit Traits

Heterosis and Combining Ability in Citrullus mucosospermus (Fursa) for Fruit Traits

The aim of this study was to identify parents and promising hybrid combinations for the improvement of Citrullus mucosospermus (Fursa). 12 F1 hybrids obtained from a 4×4 full diallel crossing along with their parental lines (Bebu (B), Wlêwlê small seeds 1 (Wss1), Wlêwlê small seeds 2 (Wss2) and Wlêwlê small seeds 3 (Wss3)) were evaluated. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with three replications. Results showed that hybrids having one parent Bebu, expressed significant positive heterosis effect relative to mid-parental values for characters’ fruit weight, fruit diameter and fruit volume. Combined analysis of variances for all investigated traits showed significant (P˂0.001) mean squares of GCA and SCA for all studied traits, indicating the involvement of both additive and non-additive gene actions in the inheritance of these traits. Non-additive gene effects were predominant for all studied traits. Bebu appeared the best general combiner for FMp, FW, FD and FV while, Wss2 and Wss3 were the best general combiner for NF. Therefore, there were suggested for their incorporation into C. mucosospermus breeding programs, in order to accumulate their favorable genes responsible for increasing fruit yield in promising pure lines. Crosses Wss1×Wss2 and Wss2×Wss3 showed significant SCA effects for NF while, crosses B x Wss1, Wss1 x B, B x Wss2, Wss2 x B, B x Wss3 and Wss3 x B presented significant positive values of SCA for FW, FD and FV. Progeny B×Wss2 had recorded a negative value of SCA for FMp. These promising crosses with significant SCA effects could be included in C. mucosospermus breeding programs, which could be advanced further for the isolation of transgressive segregants in order to develop good inbred lines.

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