Combining Ability Analysis for Bread Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.)
Choice of promising genotypes from a diverse genetic base and subsequent utilization for hybridization is one of the strategies for improving productivity of bread wheat. The data from eight parents and their F1 progenies of half-diallel crosses were analyzed for combining ability for yield and yield related traits in triplicate randomized complete block design in 2005 at Sinana, south-east Ethiopia. Significant differences among all the genotypes were apparent for all traits, except for biomass per plant. Both GCA and SCA mean squares revealed significant differences in plant height, harvest index, grain yield per plant, 1000-kernel weight and maturity traits, indicating the important of both additive and non-additive gene actions in the inheritance of these traits with the predominant effect of non-additive gene action. For the remaining traits, only mean square due to GCA showed significant variation, indicating the greater importance of additive gene action in controlling the inheritance of these characters. Abola gave highly significant GCA effects in the desirable direction and was the best general combiner for most of the traits,followed by Galema and Sofumer, while Dashen was the only parentwhich showed significant positive GCA effect for grain yield per plant. Cross combinations of Dashen x Galema, Abola x Dure, Dashen x Meda-Welabu, Abola x Galema, and Galema x Dure, exhibited significant SCA effects in the desired direction for at least two and, at most, for four traits, for which SCA variance showed significant differences. Hence, these crosses revealed possibility for commercial exploitation of heterosis as well as selection of potential homozygous lines from transgressive segregants for improvement of yield levels of bread wheat.