Ragsdale, Paul Irwin (2003-08). Diallel analysis of within-boll seed yield components and fiber properties in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and breeding potential for heat tolerance. Doctoral Dissertation.
A diallel analysis of eight upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) genotypes was conducted in the field over two years to determine the potential for improvement in within-boll seed yield components and fiber quality parameters. Four exotic germplasm lines from the converted race stock (CRS) collection and four commercial types representing Texas, mid-South, and Eastern production regions were crossed and evaluated in a diallel with parents but without reciprocals according to Griffing's Model I, Method 2. Significant variation for genotypic, general combining ability (GCA) effects, and specific combining ability (SCA) effects (P 0.05) were identified for all traits studied indicating potential for improvements through selection. Significant interactions of these parameters with years were also observed, suggesting that selection should be based on multiple years and or locations. In addition to effects on yield, individual seed number traits were found to respond to heat stress under controlled growth chamber conditions, suggesting their potential for use in screening genotypes for heat tolerance. These traits were not found to interact with temperature, which indicates that selection for improvements in these traits could be conducted in any environment. Improvements in seed yield components and, putatively, in heat tolerance could be achieved using CRS M-9044-0162. As expected, CRS accessions reduced fiber quality parameters in addition to other agronomic traits, suggesting that improvements for within-boll seed yield components and heat tolerance should be made utilizing a backcross approach. Also observed in this population was a superior hybrid for fiber length and fiber strength from the cross of TAM 94L-25 with PD 6186. This combination could lead to improved fiber length and strength potential in upland cotton.