Combining ability of quality characteristics of wheat cultivars grown in Lesotho.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) industry in Lesotho is at an infancy stage consisting of farmers producing poor quality that fetches low price for their produce. The aim of this study was to evaluate parents, F1 and F2 progeny
from a diallel cross for quality characteristics of wheat cultivars grown in Lesotho. The quality characteristics were breakflour yield, flour protein content, mixogram development time, Sodium dodecyl sulphate sedimentation volume, and single kernel weight, single kernel diameter and single kernel hardness. There were significant differences among parents, F1 and F2 progeny for all characteristics. SST 124 and Wanda were the best general combiners. In F1 progeny, Wanda x Nata and SST 124 x Nata exhibited good SCA while in F2, SST 124 x Nata showed good SCA. GCA/SCA ratio in F1 progeny showed non-additive gene action in all characteristics except one; while F2 progeny indicated that break flour yield, flour protein content, single kernel characterisation system hardness and mixogram development time were controlled by non-additive gene action. Sodium dodecyl sulphate sedimentation volume, single kernel weight and single kernel hardness were controlled by additive gene action. Genetic diversity among promising parents, F1 and F2 progeny can be combined for high quality characteristics through gene pyramiding.
Key Words: GCA, gene action, SCA, Triticum aestivum