Potential of hybrids and segregating populations of pumpkin for oil content in seeds and shrub-type plants

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to characterize and evaluate hybrid and segregating populations of crosses between accessions of Cucurbita moschata, with oil potential, and cultivars that possess the gene of dwarfism (bush), aiming at obtaining genotypes with high seed oil yield and reduced plant architecture. The experimental design was in randomized blocks with three replicates. Each replicate consisted of five plants of the BGH-7319 and BGH-7765 accessions, of the cultivars Piramoita and Tronco Verde and the F1 hybrids (BGH-7319 × Piramoita, BGH-7319 × Tronco Verde, BGH-7765 × Tronco Verde), considering the three central plants of the plots as useful. Thirty plants for each of the three F2 populations ('Population 1 F2', 'Population 2 F2', 'Population 3 F2') were evaluated. Twenty-eight phenological descriptors were applied, nine of which were related to the vegetative phase of the plants, 12 referring to the fruits, and seven to the seeds. The data were subjected to analysis of variance and the means of the treatments were compared with the means of the controls at 5% of probability by Dunnett’s test. In predicting the potential of populations to obtain superior strains, the methodology of Jinks & Pooni (1976) was used. The hybrid BGH-7319 × Tronco Verde stood out for the characteristics of seed mass per fruit, mass of 100 seeds, and seed length, width, and thickness, being promising for the oil content of the seeds. The 'Population 2 F2', derived from the crossbreeding between BGH-7319 and Tronco Verde was to the most promising for plant with shrub-type growth.