Combining Ability for Yield and its Components in Ethiopian Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Landraces

  • Girma Mengistu Bako Agricultural Research Center
  • Amsalu Ayana Oromiya Agricultural Research Institute
  • Ketema Belete Haramaya University, Department of Plant Science


Crossing sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] obtained from different areas of Ethiopia were done in 2004/05 cropping season. In 2005/06 evaluation of 15 F1s with their parents were done in a randomized complete block design with three replications at Bako. The study was conducted to estimate combining ability and determine type of gene actions involved in the inheritance of yield and yield components traits. Analysis of variance revealed that mean squares due to genotypes, parents and crosses were highly significant (P<0.01) for all the traits except for 100 kernel weight that were significant for crosses. Mean squares due to general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) were highly significant for all characters studied, except non significant SCA for 100 kernel weight. For yield, three of the parents, 212646, 69543 and 69193 had the best general combiner and incorporating these parents for grain yield per panicle in sorghum breeding may be importatnt. Based on specific combining ability analysis for grain yield per panicle five hybrids 69543 x 223506, 212646 x 223506, 97MW5122 x 212646, 97MW5122 x 69543 and 212646 x 69193 were the best in the experiment. The estimate of variance components showed that the variance due to SCA was higher in magnitude than GCA in the case of days to maturity, panicle width, panicle weight, kernel number per panicle and grain yield. Therefore, these traits were predominantly under the control of non-additive type of gene actions. Whereas variance of GCA was higher than SCA in the case of days to flowering, plant height, leaf number per plant, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, panicle length and 100 kernel weight indicating that additive type of gene action was playing a greater role in the inheritance of these traits.

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