Estimation of genetic merit of diallel hybrids of sweet pepper by mixed models

ABSTRACT: The use of mixed models for evaluating diallel crosses is a highly timely option to the reliable prediction of progeny genetic values. In the sweet pepper crop, hybrids are commercially explored on a large scale, mainly because of their characteristics of economic importance. This study aimed to assess the potential of hybrids obtained from a partial diallel among five sweet pepper lines developed for the hydroponic cultivation system and two simple hybrids, by applying mixed models. It was performed crosses in the partial diallel scheme among the (L1B, L6, L7, L18, and L19) lines and the simple hybrids ‘Valdor’ and ‘Atlantis’. Plants were cultivated in hydroponic system with substrate and irrigated three times a day using nutrient solution. On the basis of mixed models, the following traits were assessed: mean fruit diameter (FD), mean fruit length (FL), mean fruit number per plant (FNP), mean fruit mass (FM), early yield (EYIELD), and mean fruit mass per plant (FMP). The L6 line was the one that showed the highest estimate of general combination capacity for FMP, FM, and EYIELD, proving to be promising for recommendation. The hybrid that provided the best specific combining ability for FD, FM, FMP, and EYIELD was L6 x ‘Valdor’. Triple hybrids were efficient to maximize yield for the traits of interest by the use of the mixed model.