The inheritance of yield components and beta carotene content in sweet potato
Mbusa, Heritier K
Olubayo, Florence M.
Kivuva, Benjamin M
Muthomi, James W.
Nzuve, Felister M.
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Analysis of the gene action exhibited by an agronomic trait in crop plants is useful in the planning of an effective plant breeding program. This study sought to establish the inheritance variance of root yield components and beta carotene content present in sweet potato clones commonly grown in Kenya. Ten contrasting parents were selected based on their beta carotene content, dry matter content and yield potential. They were planted in pots in the green house at KEPHIS-Muguga, Kenya, where they were grafted into Ipomoea setosa to boost their ability to flower. Five parents were further selected based on their ability to flower under local environmental conditions and crossed in a 5 × 5 half diallel manner. Five parents and ten F1 clones arising from this hybridization were evaluated at KALRO-Kiboko, Kenya during two rainy seasons. The field trials were laid out in a randomized complete block design of three replications. The data were scored for root yield characteristics, beta carotene and root dry matter content. Griffing Method II, Model 1 diallel was used to estimate the general and specific combining ability. Genetic variability for beta carotene and root dry matter content indicated that the two traits were controlled mostly by both additive and dominant gene actions. Heterosis gene effects were found for beta carotene and root dry matter content which would be useful in the improvement of sweet potato productivity.
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