To break the decades-old yield barrier in pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] a hybrid breeding technology was successfully developed and the first two hybrids were recently released in India. In order to produce heterotic hybrid combinations, the first logical step is the identification and selection of genetically diverse parents with favorable alleles. In this context, the concept of classifying hybrid parents into different heterotic groups was developed and successfully used in maize and later adopted in other crops. Since hybrid technology in pigeonpea is new, the authors have made the first attempt to identify heterotic groups using SCA effects of 102 crosses generated from line × tester mating and evaluated them at four locations. Based on the performance of hybrids in terms of SCA effects, seven heterotic groups were constituted. Besides this, a scheme to use this information in breeding high yielding hybrids with specific or wide adaptation is also discussed herein. Genetic diversity between lines and tester showed positive association with the heterotic pools generated on the basis of SCA.
Source: Pigeonpea OAR