Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract The normal and selfed families of the triple test cross were employed to detect gene action in t'ef for grain yield and other useful agronomic characters in the breeding programme. Cultivars Kay Murri and Fesho were used as L1 and L2 testers, respectively. Eight randomly selected cultivars and two released varieties (DZ-01-354 and DZ-01-196) were crossed with the testers L1, L2 and L3 (the F1 of L1 × L2). In the case of the selfed families, 14 cultivars and two released varieties were used for crossing with the testers. The normal families were grown on an Inceptisol developed from volcanic ash whilst the selfed families were grown on a pellic Vertisol at the Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Centre, Ethiopia. The rainfall during the experimental season was 463 mm. Epistasis was detected for grain yield, yield per panicle, panicle weight, plant weight, harvest index, tiller number, panicle length, culm diameter, days to heading and days to maturity in the normal families of the triple test cross (TTC) of t'ef. Similarly the characters grain yield, yield per panicle, panicle weight, plant height, panicle length, days to heading and days to maturity showed epistasis in the selfed families of the TTC. Epistatic interaction was not important for shoot biomass and for harvest index (for the transformed data) in this family. Therefore, both the normal and selfed families of the TTC were in agreement with regard to detecting epistasis for grain yield, yield per panicle, panicle weight, panicle length, days to heading and days to maturity. Significant additive (D) and dominance (H) components were estimated for the characters in both families, although the magnitudes might have been inflated due to epistasis. The dominance component for panicle length was unimportant in both families of the TTC and as a result the additive components were not biased. In general, the additive, dominance and epistatic components were important in t'ef. Since the crop is self-fertilized only the additive and additive × additive terms are important to develop pure breeding varieties. Therefore, selection for superior segregants should start in advanced generations as homozygosity increases.
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