Studies in forage oats (Avena sativa L.) were carried out to generate information on combining ability (general and specific), nature and magnitude of gene effects for forage yield and their attributing traits. The experimental materials comprised of ten diverse parents and 45 F1 crosses (excluding reciprocals) generated through 10 x 10 diallel mating design. The experimental material was evaluated in a randomized complete block design. Observations were recorded on eight quantitative characters. Significant interaction between combining ability effects and environments were observed for all the traits. The estimates of dominance variance were higher in magnitude than their corresponding additive genetic variance indicating preponderance of non-additive gene action except for days to 50% flowering. Estimates of average degree of dominance also revealed preponderance of over dominance for all the traits except for days to 50% flowering that shows partial dominance. None of the parents was found to be a good general combiner simultaneously for all traits. However, SKO-207 and SKO-208 was identified as a good general combiner for most of the traits viz., days to 50% flowering, plant height (cm), number of tillers m-1, culm diameter (cm), leaf stem ratio, dry matter yield plant-1 (g). SKO-212 and SKO-204 was the best general combiner for green fodder yield plant-1. The most promising crosses that revealed highly positive and significant SCA effect for forage yield SKO-212 X SKO- 213, SKO-204 X SKO- 208, SKO-204 X SKO- 211, SKO-210 X SKO- 211 and SKO-207 X SKO- 210.
Key words: Fodder oats, combining ability, GCA, SCA.
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