Genetic variability and heritability were studied in 50 genotypes of snake gourd (Trichosanthes anguina L.) to determine the magnitude of variability in the population and to identify genotypically diverse and economically desirable genotypes for utilization in crop improvement. The phenotypic coefficient of variation was found to be slightly higher than the genotypic coefficient of variation for all the characters under consideration, indicating that the apparent variation is not only genetic, but also due to influence of the growing environment in expression of the genotypes. The estimates of genotypic variance also showed considerable variation for majority of the characters. Higher values of phenotypic coefficient of variation and genotypic coefficient of variation were recorded for fruit length, fruit weight and number of fruits per plant while, moderate phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variation were observed for yield, fruit girth and number of seeds per fruit indicating the extent of available genetic variability for these traits. High heritability along with high genetic advance observed for fruit length, fruit yield, fruit girth and number of fruits per plant is indicative of additive gene action in control of these traits and phenotypic selection based on these traits in the segregating population is likely to yield desired individuals.
Key words: Snake gourd, genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV), phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV), heritability, genetic advance.
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