Groundnut chlorotic rosette disease (GCRD) transmitted by the aphid, Aphis craccivora, is an important virus disease of groundnut in Africa. Breeding for host resistance remains the best strategy to minimize losses due to this disease. Nine cultivated groundnut genotypes with differential reaction to GCRD were crossed in an incomplete diallel mating design to determine the combining ability of GCRD resistance. The parents and 36 F2 populations were inoculated with veruliferous A. craccivora at the seedling stage and evaluated for disease reaction at two locations in Nigeria in 2012. Disease incidence (based on visual symptoms) was recorded three times at fortnightly interval using area under disease progress curve. General combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects for GCRD resistance were highly significant (P < 0.01), indicating that both additive and non-additive gene effects governed the inheritance of GCRD resistance. The Baker ratio was low (0.3) for GCRD indicating that non-additive gene effects was more important than additive gene effects in controlling GCRD resistance in these crosses. As a result, progeny performance could not be adequately predicted from GCA effects alone. Therefore, effective selection of superior genotypes would be achieved at advanced generations when maximum homozygosity is attained.
Key words: Groundnut chlorotic rosette disease, area under disease progress curve, combining ability, additive and non-additive gene effects.
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