In most parts of the world pepper has become a popular spice that makes food hot in addition to its much needed nutrients of carotenoids and vitamins. This report has its objective to evaluate the parents and hybrid of three Nigerian pepper genotypes (Shombo, Tatase and Nsukka yellow pepper) for growth and yield; and to estimate their genetic parameters. Conventional breeding by hand pollination was adopted. The mean performance of the parents and hybrids for morpho-agronomic characters were evaluated. Heterosis and inbreeding depression were estimated. The F1 hybrids showed superiority over the parental genotypes with Sho x Nsky-rw having significantly (P ≤ 0.05) the highest value in most of the traits. In morphological traits, Sho x Nsky-rw hybrid had highest values in canopy diameter, number of leaves, number of nodes and number of branches per plant, while in fruit traits, it also had significantly the highest values in the number of fruits, fruit length and weight of fruits per plant. Sho x Nsky – rw had positive heterobeltiosis over the better parent in most of the yield and yield component characters. While Sho x Nsky – rw had the highest yield, Tat x Sho had the highest fruit wall thickness. The combinations of these traits are important to both the farmers and consumers. Having appropriate parents with genetic variability F1 pepper plants having distinct superiority above the mid and better parents could be developed.
Key words: Capsicum annuum, chili pepper; heterosis, hybrid, inbreeding depression.
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