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Inheritance of resistance to coffee wilt disease (Fusarium xylarioides Steyaert) in Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora Pierre) and breeding perspectives

Musoli C.P., Cilas C., Pot D., Nabaggala A., Nakendo S., Pande J., Charrier A., Leroy T., Bieysse D.. 2013. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 9 (2) : p. 351-360.

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-012-0557-9

Knowledge on heritability is essential for selecting varieties resistant against coffee wilt disease caused by Fusarium xylarioides, which is currently devastating coffee in East and Central Africa. Variability of the resistance against coffee wilt disease in Coffea canephora and its inheritance were investigated in three experiments corresponding to a clonal trial involving 20 clones, a 10- parent partial diallel progeny, and a half-sib progeny test. There were significant quantitative genetic variations among the clones and progenies, suggesting polygenic control of the resistance. Around 50-65 % tree mortality was the optimal disease level for calculating heritability and genetic gains. General and specific combining abilities calculated within the optimal disease range for partial diallel analysis were significant. Broad-sense heritability for the same analysis and same disease range was moderate (0.329), and corresponding narrow-sense heritability was low (0.112). Broad-sense heritability from clones in the field at the same disease range was also moderate (0.333). Narrow-sense heritability from regression of half-sib progeny means onto parent means in the field and screen house was 0.183 and 0.369, respectively. Selecting tolerant clones for improvement against the disease is possible, and genetic gains are possible by using tolerant parents in breeding programs.

Mots-clés : coffea canephora; fusarium; héritabilité; résistance aux maladies; ouganda; fusarium xylarioides

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