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General and Specific Combining Ability Analysis for Quantitative Characters in Tunisian Spring Barley

Sana Medimagh, Mouldi El Felah, Mohamed El Gazzah


This study focus on the genetic analysis of Tunisian spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) material, improved (Rihane, Martin, Taj), local (Ardhaoui, Sahli) and introduced (Salmas), through a complete 6x6 diallel cross to obtain thirty F1 hybrids. These varieties were used to estimate general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects for plant height, spike length, grain number per spike, and kernel weight, beta glucan content and protein content in order to select suitable parents for hybridization and to identify the promising hybrids. This study has been conducted at Béja a sub-humid location, INRA-Tunisia. Analysis of variance revealed highly significant differences among all the F1 hybrid means and their respective six parental values for all the traits examined. Results showed highly significant differences among parents for GCA and among crosses for SCA for all studied traits. The best crosses were (Sahli x Salmas) for plant height and protein content, (Taj x Salmas) for grain number per spike, (Sahli x Ardhaoui) for thousand kernel weight and (Martin x Taj) for beta glucan content. It had been showed that it is very difficult to transgress characters such as quality from improved genotypes to local landraces. Sahli and Rihane are the proven positive common genitors for the height trait. Thus, these two varieties revealed good potential to be used as parents for hybrid.

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