Diallel analysis of quantitative characteristics in ornamental peppers
The commerce of potted ornamental plants has grown in Brazil, and ornamental pepper stands out due to a profusion of colors and forms, as well as due to its easy cultivation. However, few studies have been carried out with ornamental pepper for genetic improvement of fruit production, plant size and precocity. Thus, in order to conduct a genetic improvement program, we evaluated the general and specific combining abilities, as well as reciprocal effects in a complete diallel with eight progenitors and 56 ornamental pepper hybrids. Thirteen features related to plant and fruits were evaluated. Significant variation was observed among parents and ornamental pepper hybrids by Scott-Knott criterion at 1% probability. There was predominance of additive effects in control of all characteristics except for fruit mass, since the ratio between quadratic components of the general combining ability and the specific combining ability was close to or greater than one. Reciprocal effects were highly significant for all traits, except for days to flowering and fruiting. The predominance of overall combining ability for most features suggests that simple genetic improvement methods, such as the pedigree method, can be successfully used. Based on good classification of UFSJ 1 and UFSJ 6 progenitors in relation to specific combining abilities, favorable reciprocal effects for at least three characteristics simultaneously and at least one of the parents with good general combining ability, UFSJ 4 X UFSJ 1 and UFSJ 6 X UFSJ 1 hybrids were recommended for ornamental cultivation purposes.