Gene Effect on Yield and Yield Components Combining Ability and Fusarium Wilt Disease Resistance of Pigeon pea in Tanzania
Pigeon pea, (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh) is one of the grain legume crops grown in many countries in the tropics and subtropics. The crop is reported to have wide adaptability in different climatic and soil conditions. The perennial nature of pigeon pea allows farmers to take multiple harvests with surpluses traded in both local and international markets. However, it has not benefited from intensive scientific research worldwide, a situation which results into a large gap between potential yield and actual yields obtained on farmers’ fields. A study was conducted to assess the combining ability in yield and yield components including fusarium wilt on pigeon pea during the dry season in 2011. A diallel crosses was performed for evaluation of number of days to 50% flowering, days to 85% maturity, the number of branches, plant height, pods per plant, seeds per pod, 100 seed weight, yield and an assessment of fusarium wilt impact. Estimate of General and Specific Combining Ability revealed high significant difference in all yield components except the number of branches and seeds per pod. This implies that, both additive and non-additive gene action in these characters were expressed. Thus more backcrosses and selections are recommended to meet the need of yield improvement.