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NOBREGA, Márcia Barreto de Medeiros; GERALDI, Isaias Olívio  and  CARVALHO, Agnaldo Donizete Ferreira de. Evaluation of castor bean cultivars in partial diallel crosses. Bragantia [online]. 2010, vol.69, n.2, pp.281-288. ISSN 0006-8705.

Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is a very important crop in northeastern Brazil. Nowadays it became also important in other regions of Brazil, due to the Brazilian Biodiesel Program. The objective of the present work was to estimate general and specific combining ability for seed yield and agronomic traits in castor bean, in order to obtain a better understanding of the genetic control of these traits of breeding purposes. Two groups of cultivars were studied: Group 1, composed by five short stature cultivars, and Group 2, composed by five tall cultivars. The two groups were crossed according to a partial diallel design, giving rise to 25 hybrid evaluated in a 5 x 5 lattice design with four replications. Plots comprised of a nine meters single row spaced three meters apart (27 m2) with 10 plants. Seed yield (PR), days to flowering (DF), plant height (AP), height up to the primary raceme (AC), and length of primary raceme (TU) were evaluated. General combining ability (GCA) was significant for all traits within each group, while specific combining ability (SCA) was significant only for DF and TU. The GCA sum of squares was higher than SCA sum of squares for all traits, indicating that additive effect loci were more important than dominant effect loci. In both groups there are cultivars with favorable alleles for yield and agronomic traits.

Keywords : castor bean; partial diallel; combining ability; GCA; SCA.

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