Rice is the most important staple food for more than half of the world’s population and also for most of the countries. A Line x Tester analysis was undertaken to study the nature of gene action for yield and drought tolerant traits. The ratio of SCA and GCA was less than unity for all the characters which revealed that the preponderance of non- additive gene action governing the traits concerned. The lines viz., ADT 43, ADT (R) 49, CO (R) 50 and the testers viz., PMK (R) 3, Chandikar and Anna (R) 4 were adjudged as the best general combiners for drought tolerant traits. The cross combinations viz., ADT 39 x Vellaichitraikar had exhibited significant values for dry root weight (9.66), root/shoot ratio (0.31), root length (3.82), number of roots per plant (37.08), root thickness (0.11), root volume (4.27) and root length density (0.03) ADT (R) 49 x Chandikar for 70 percent relative water content (8.85), dry root weight (18.03), dry shoot weight (40.55), root length (3.10), number of roots per plant (140.16) root thickness (0.38) and root volume (23.14) were found to be specific combiners for most of the drought tolerant traits. The cross combinations, viz., ADT 43 x Anna (R) 4, ADT (R) 49 x Chandikar and ADT 43 x PMK (R) 3 had highly significant standard heterosis. Breeding for drought tolerance in rice would be of immense value to the farmers economic health, family well-being and harmony in the society.
Combining, Drought, GCA, Heterosis and SCA
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