Alidu et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (6), pp. 476-491, June 2013.
Manuscript Number: 030613516
Genetic Analysis of Vegetative-Stage Drought Tolerance in Cowpea
Alidu M. S.1a, Atokple I. D. K.2* and Akromah R.1b
Crop Science Dept.,Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, Kumasi. 2CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, Tamale.
Emails: a.sanatu @ yahoo.com1a, rakromah @ yahoo. com1b
*Corresponding Author’s Email: idkatokple @ yahoo. com
The continued improvement in the yield of cowpea for the
semi-arid regions where it is a dominant crop will record
rapid progress if the genetic basis for yield under
different moisture regimes is better understood. This study
investigated the genetic combining abilities and heterosis
for grain yield, yield components, flowering and biomass
production among diallel hybrids derived from nine cowpea
genotypes. Results showed that moisture stress significantly
reduced grain yield, biomass production, and number of pods
per plant. Only for grain yield was a significant
interaction observed for moisture regimes. Genetic control
for grain size, number of seeds per pod and days to
flowering was dominated by additive genetic effects. For
grain yield, both additive and non-additive genetic effects
were dominant. The genetic control of yield under the two
soil moisture conditions indicated that grain yield
improvement will be more challenging for drought prone
regions. Nonetheless, careful selection of genotypes that
have complementary but different alleles for yield under
different soil moisture conditions might permit yield
improvement through recurrent selection. This study has
identified parental lines, developed populations, and
provided a breeding strategy for developing cowpea cultivars
with higher grain yield for Guinea and Sudan savannah
regions of West Africa.
Keywords: Cowpea, Drought, Tolerance, Combining Abilities, Heterosis, Diallel Hybrids, Heritability,Trait Correlation
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