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Assessment of genetic variation and heritability of agronomic traits in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L)

Tesfamichael Semere Mallu, Stephen Githiri Mwangi, Aggrey Bernard Nyende, N.V.P.R Ganga Rao, Damaris Achieng Odeny, Abhishek Rathore, Anil Kumar

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi – Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Nairobi, Kenya

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi – Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India

Key words: Agronomic traits, Chickpea, Cicer arietinum, heritability, variation.


chickpea_seedsThe objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic variation and heritability of selected agronomic traits among chickpea genotypes. Replicated field experiments were conducted for 60 genotypes during the long and short rain seasons of 2013 at Kabete and Juja using alpha lattice design. Data were collected for days to 50 % flowering, plant height, days to 75 % maturity, pods plant -1, yield ha -1 and 100 seed weight and analysed using SAS 2013. Genotypes and genotype by environment interactions showed highly significant (p < 0.0001) variations for all studied traits. Genotypes were classified as early (< 50 days), moderate (50 – 55 days), late (55 – 60 days) and very late (> 60 days) in flowering. Fifteen genotypes were early (< 115 days) and 14 were late (> 120 days) in maturity. Genotypes took longer in flowering and maturity during the long rains in comparison with short rains in both sites. Genotypes further varied with respect to yield traits and categorized as low, moderate and high. The highest yield ha -1 was recorded by ICC 9636 while ICC 9002 recorded the lowest. Broad sense heritability was high for most traits except days to 75 % maturity during long rains and pods plant -1 in long rain Kabete. Characters with high broad sense heritability would be used as selection criterion for better yield. Promising, early flowering and maturing genotypes with reasonable yield traits from this study can be exploited for genetic improvement of chickpea.

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