Twenty-one crosses developed from the frame of line × tester analysis along with ten parents were grown in two replicates experiment. Data on days to flowering, days to maturity, plant height, number of pods/plant, number of primary branches, number of secondary branches, number of tertiary branches, number of seeds per pod and seed yield per plant (g), revealed high significant differences exist among lines, testers and crosses for all traits studied. The ratio value of general combining ability variance to specific combining ability variance suggests the preponderance of non-additive type as well as additive gene action for some traits. Genotype Pusa-362 was the best general combiner for days to flowering. Genotype ICCL-87322 was identified as the best general combiner for the number of seeds per plant. Genotype BG329 was identified as the best general combiner for seed yield per plant (g) followed by KPG-59. Genotype PG-92-4 recorded desirable and significant GCA across five traits consistently. Cross PG-92-4 X Pant-186 recorded five significant SCA in the positive direction for secondary branches, number of tertiary branches, number of pods per plant, seed yield per plant and hundred seed weight. This cross is considered the most important compared to other materials under study. The proportional contribution of line × tester interaction was evident for most of the traits followed by the contribution of maternal lines. Days to flowering, days to maturity, primary branches, secondary branches, tertiary branches, pod per plant, seed per pod and seed yield per plant (g) recorded higher SCA variance suggesting non-additive gene action exit in expressing of these traits. The presence of a high SCA effect suggests that heterosis breeding can be exploited. Selection for those characters should be undertaken in later generations when these traits are fixed in homozygous lines.
Key words: Chickpea, Cicer reticulatum, combining ability, gene action, heritability.
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