Generation by Generation Correlation and Path Analysis for Yield and Yield Components in Advanced Generations of Tomato (Solanum Species) Hybrids
Six advanced generations (F7 - F12) of tomato hybrids were evaluated in the Department of Crop Science Research Farm, University of Nigeria, Nsukka from 2004 to 2008 to estimate the magnitude of character association of yield and yield related attributes in each filial generation. Traits under focus were days to flowering, number of flowers, number of fruits, number of trusses and number branches per plant and fresh fruit yield per plant. Positive and highly significant correlations were observed between fresh fruit yield and number of flowers, number of trusses and branches per plant in the six generations studied. Fresh fruit yield showed negative association with days to flowering in the F8, F10 and F12 generations . Path analysis revealed highest positive direct effect of number of flowers per plant on fruit yield. The high negative indirect effect exhibited by number of flowers per plant at the F7, F10 and F12 generations were counteracted by the high positive indirect effect via number of flowers per truss at F7, number of trusses at F10 and number of fruits at F12. Number of flowers per plant exhibited highest positive direct effect consistently in three out of the six generations studied. Selection based on number of flowers per plant should therefore, be considered for high fruit yield in tomato.
Key words: Tomato, correlation, path coefficient Analysis, Solanum species.