Drought is the most important abiotic limitation to groundnut yields across the world, and the Northern Regions of Ghana. The study estimated the heritability and genetic variability of selected parents of groundnut for drought tolerance traits to aid in their effective selection and utilization. The North Carolina II mating design was adopted while the variance component method was used to estimate heritabilities in the narrow and broad sense as well. Chlorophyll content (greenness of leaves) was recorded at 60 and 80 DAP. The objective was to measure the chlorophyll content and hence the drought tolerance performance of the entries. Mean squares caused by differences among crosses was partitioned into difference due to male parents and female parents, which was attributed to general combining ability (GCA), as well as difference due to male x female interaction, which was attributed to specific combining ability (SCA). Narrow Sense Heritability from the variance components for different traits varied under both water regimes, ranging from 12.2% to 95.7%. The most heritable traits were: dry biomass weight (95.7%), days to 50% flowering (91.0%), seed yield (90.0%), plant height at harvest (76.0%), SCMR 60 DAP (71.7%), days to maturity (67.0%) and SCMR 80 DAP (66.0%). Pod yield (12.3%) and harvest index (12.2%) exhibited low narrow sense heritabilities. Additive gene effects largely controlled the inheritance of pod, seed and biomass yields. Positive association between most yield and yield components as well as higher heritabilities shows that selection for higher yield and maturity is conceivable in improving groundnuts.
Key words: Abiotic, constraints, chlorophyll content, drought, genetic, groundnut, heritability, North Carolina II mating design, tolerance, yield.
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