Gene effect and heritability of yield and its components in eggplant
Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is one of the most important fruit vegetables in the world, with several nutritional and medicinal benefits. However, little is known about the genetic divergence of yield and its related traits. The objective of this study was to explore gene action and heritability of traits to help direct and strengthen breeding programmes, geared towards improving yield of the crop. Six generations (P1, P2, F1, F2, BC1 and BC2) derived from two crosses (SM001-07 x ST004-03 and SM001 x San005-01) of eggplant accessions, were grown in pots in an open field, using Randomised Complete block Design (RCBD). Estimated data indicated that, the additive-dominance model was adequate to demonstrate the genetic variation and its significance in the inheritance of fruit weight, days to flowering and fruit yield traits. Although non-allelic interactions were found in plant height and number of seeds, additive effect was more pronounced in the genetic control of days to flowering and fruit weight; while dominance effect was more important in the control of plant branching and fruit length. Plant height and fruit yield were influenced by complementary gene action. Furthermore, the study revealed low magnitudes of dominance and environmental variances for most traits showing higher heritability values. In view of the diverse gene actions, with additive, dominant and epistasis, playing significant roles in the control of different traits, backcross, recurrent selection or bi parental could be appropriate for advancing the segregating populations to meet the need of yield improvement in both crosses.
Key words: Additive, dominance, Epistasis, gene action