The present investigation was envisaged to gather information about the potential and characteristics of the experimental material of bell pepper at the Vegetable Research Block, Department of Vegetable Science, College of Forestry and Hill Agriculture, Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Hill Campus, Ranichauri (Tehri Garhwal), Uttarakhand (India) during rainy-autumn season, 2009 to 2010. The combined analysis of 6 × 6 diallel revealed significant variation among genotypes in parents, F1 crosses and parents versus F1 crosses for all the studied characters except for pericarp thickness and number of branches for parents, indicating that the used parents in diallel mating design and their crosses were genetically diverse. A wide range of heterosis over better parent and standard check was observed in F1 generation for marketable fruit yield and its attributing traits. The F1 crosses PRC-1 × California Wonder and California Wonder × SSP had revealed the highest significant desirable heterosis both over better parent and standard check (California Wonder) for early maturity. The F1 crosses (Rani Sel-1 × SSP, Rani Sel-1 × Sel-12-2-1, SSP × SP-316 and PRC-1 × California Wonder) showed appreciable heterosis over better parent and standard checks for marketable fruit yield per plant and quality traits in bell pepper. The high heterotic response as observed in these hybrids further supported by the predominant role of non-additive component in the inheritance of the characters studies. These cross combination could be exploited in heterosis breeding programme.
Key words: Heterosis, bell pepper, capsicum, hybrid breeding, horticultural traits, fruit yield.
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