The present study was conducted to estimate the genetic variability, heritability, genetic advance and association among selected agronomic traits of common bean landraces from South western Kenya. The field experiment was conducted using 52 common bean landraces at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kisii Research Center during 2015 and 2016 main cropping seasons. The experimental design was randomized complete block (RCBD) with three replications. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences indicating the existence of genetic variability among the 52 landraces for 14 quantitative traits studied. The genotypic coefficient of variation ranged from 1.00% for biological yield to 84.69% for pod width, while the phenotypic coefficient of variation ranged from 2.34% for biological yield to 84.40% for number of branches. The estimated broad sense heritability ranged from 60.20% for seeds per plant to 87.57% for days to emergence. Estimates of genetic advance as percent of mean ranged from 10.15% for biological yield to 97.45% for number of branches. Positive and highly significant association of plant height, days from planting to 50% flowering, number of pods per plant and biological yield was observed with seed yield per plant, hence these traits may be directly attributed for the improvement of seed yield. High hereditability and genetic advance was obtained for plant height, 100 seed weight, pod width and number of branches, indicating additive gene effects in controlling the traits and these traits could be used as suitable criteria for selection and improvement of common bean in breeding programs.
Key words: Phaseolus vulgaris, phenotypic variability, genotypic variability, quantitative traits, heritability, genetic advance, breeding.
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