Nine improved varieties of groundnut developed at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Samaru and one locally cultivated variety were evaluated for their breeding potentials in the Guinea Savannah agro-ecological zone. Considerable variability was observed for basal stem diameter, biological yield, days to first and 50% flowering, plant height, number of leaves/plant, branches/plant and100-seed weight, showing a wide scope for improvement through selection. Coefficient of variation at phenotypic and genotypic levels were close in magnitude for number of branches/plant, plant height, days to first flowering and grain yield suggesting the presence of additive gene effects. High heritability estimates coupled with genetic advance were noted for number of branches/plant, plant height, days to first flowering and grain yield. Correlation studies revealed that grain yield correlated positively with all except the phenological traits. The path analysis implicated biological yield, failed pegs/plant, number of leaves/plant, and basal stem diameter as having substantial influence on grain yield in groundnut. Thus, selection of breeding lines based on the biological yield, failed pegs, number of leaves/plant and basal stem diameter could give a better scope for maximum grain yield in groundnut. Considering the grain yield, four of the varieties, ICIAR, SAM NUT 22, SAM NUT 23, SAM NUT 21 and SAM NUT 11 were identified as promising in Makurdi environment.
Key words: Grain yield, Arachis hypogaea L., morphological traits, genetic advance.
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