This work identifies the combining ability of 10 hot pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) parents and 45F1 hybrids obtained from 10 x 10 half diallel. The work aims to identify the parents with the best general combining ability (gca) and crosses with high specific combining ability (sca) for yield, quality and nature of gene action involved. The study was conducted during 2015-2016 at six environments in Southern Ethiopia using RCBD with three replications. The combined analysis of variance showed that variance for gca and sca was highly significant for all the traits studied. This indicates that both additive and non-additive gene actions were operating in the inheritance of these traits. Parental level of gca revealed that introduced genotype (AVPP0514) had highest (1843.87) effect followed by Ethiopian variety 'Mareko fana' (930.97) for fresh pod yield and other related traits. The highest sca for hybrids was exhibited by AVPP0514 x AVPP59328, 'Marekofana' x AVPP0514, 'Melkaawaze' x AVPP0206 and AVPP9813 x AVPP0105 for yield and quality traits. This indicates the existence of immense potential for population improvement and heterosis breeding for enhancing productivity and qualities. The ratios of gca mean square to sca mean square were higher than unity for traits, indicating that additive gene action plays a predominant role in the inheritance of most of the traits.
Key words: Additive gene action, hybrid, improvement, parents, quality, yield.
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