Selection and genetic parameters for interpopulation hybrids between kouilou and robusta coffee

ABSTRACT Selection of hybrid coffee plants coming from crosses between divergent populations is particularly relevant for the success of breeding programs. This study aimed to outline the best selection strategy in a hybrid population of Coffea canephora var. kouilou and robusta by estimating intrapopulation genetic parameters. Twenty full-sib progenies obtained by North Caroline II were installed in a randomized complete blocks design, with one plant per elementary plot. The following traits were evaluated: vegetative vigor, reaction to rust, plant height, diameter of canopy projection, maturity time, and bean yield. Significant individual genotypic variance and heritability estimates lead to an effective selection. The multi-trait selection index carried out between progenies and at individual level provided 5% and 40% gain, respectively. Thus, intrapopulation selection in a hybrid population is a viable strategy for the selection of superior individuals to compose new crosses and clones for cultivars in the breeding program of C. canephora, even with unbalanced data.