Considerations for breeding for Improved Yiel and Quality in Arabica Coffee 1983

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Coffee Board of Kenya
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Coffee Board of Kenya
Variation for growth, yield and quality characters was studied in a diallel cross among 11 varieties of arabica coffee. The objective was to demonstrate the possible application of such information in breeding programmes for improved yield and coffee quality. Growth characters especially girth, height, internode length on stem and primaries, and canopy radius had a high repeatability. Such characters are heritable, even with a single measurement taken on young coffee trees. For most yield characters, a good assessment can only be obtained if it is based on the mean of several years' rec0rds Regarding quality characters, single berry weight, % AA, %AB and %PB showed a high heritability. ·Jenetic variation for selected growth and yield characters was due to genes with addItive and dominance effects. There was also evidence of epistatic effects among genes governing most of these characters, and especially so for yield. As a consequence many of the F 1 hybrids displayed considerable hybrid vigour varying between 10% to over 200% above the better parent. Variation for quality characters was chiefly due to the additive genetic effects, specific combining ability being relatively unimportant. A detailed study of genotype-environment interactions revealed that it is possible to select for high yielding genotypes with the desired level of linear response to environments. Yield stability and compact growth are characters that could be selected for independently. Quality characters in general were relatively less influenced by effects of genotype-environmen t interactions.