Combining ability and gene action studies for horticultural traits in cowpea
Identification of most suitable parents is one of the most important requirements in any crop improvement approach for development of elite lines/genotypes. The combining ability analysis helps to choose the best parents for crop improvement programmes for desirable traits. The attraction of combining ability is that it provides a reasonable basis for forecasting the performance of yet untested crosses but yet makes no assumptions genetically. This technique helps to choose the best hybrid combinations in terms of superiority over the parents and reveals the type of gene action associated in the inheritance of different characters. Therefore, combining ability study has been the most important and efficient tool for identifying the desirable parents for a crop improvement programme. The knowledge and information about the heritability of yield and its component traits in cowpea can be explored to develop high yielding cowpea varieties with wider adaptability as climate resilient approach to extenuate climate change through appropriate conventional and advance breeding methods. This review will be useful in understanding the opportunities offered by combining ability and gene action studies in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) for improving productivity and various horticultural traits.
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