Studies on the Variability and Combining Ability for Improved Growth and Yield of Local Eggplant Genotypes (Solanum melongena L.)
Ten genotypes of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) comprising of four genitors and six hybrids generated using diallel crosses were evaluated to estimate the magnitude of genetic variability, their general combing ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) for improved growth and yield of eggplant. The results obtained showed a significant (p ≤ 0.05) difference among the genotypes in all the traits studied. The highest fruit yield per plant and fruit yield per hectare was obtained in ‘Yalo’ × ‘K3’ combination, with 1.77 kg per plant and 50.50 tonnes per hectare, respectively. The cluster analysis grouped the studied genotypes into three and six clusters for genitors alone and genitors with first filial generation (F1s), respectively. Principal component analysis showed that number of leaves, number of fruits and number of branches per plant contributed more to the total variations observed in the eggplant populations. Significant GCA and SCA effect were obtained for most characters analyzed, indicating the importance of both additive and non-additive genetic components. The genotype ‘Iyoyo’ was the best general combiner in regard to days to flowering and number of fruits per plant. ‘Yalo’ was the best general combiner in fruits’ circumference and diameter, fruit yield per plant and per hectare. The cross ‘Uyo’ × ‘Iyoyo’ was the best specific combiner in days to flowering, whereas ‘K3’ × ‘Iyoyo’ and ‘Yalo’ × ‘K3’ were the best specific combinations in number of fruits, fruit yield per plant and per hectare.
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