, 215:87 | Cite as

Combining ability and heterosis of selected sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) clones for storage root yield, yield-related traits and resistance to sweetpotato virus disease

  • Stephan Ngailo
  • Hussein Shimelis
  • Julia Sibiya
  • Kiddo Mtunda
  • Jacob MashiloEmail author


Designed crosses using genetically diverse and complementary genotypes is useful to develop sweetpotato clones with improved agronomic traits. The objective of this study was to determine combining ability and heterosis among selected sweetpotato clones for number of storage roots per plant (NRPP), storage root yield (SRY), dry matter content (DMC) and resistance to sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) for breeding. Eight selected genotypes were crossed using an 8 × 8 half diallel mating design to generate 28 families which were evaluated along their parents under field condition at three sites using a 6 × 6 lattice design with three replications. General combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects were highly significant (P < 0.001) among families. Significant GCA × sites and SCA × sites effects indicated environmental effect on gene action and expression. Parental genotypes Simama and Gairo had positive and significant GCA effects for NRPP. The parents 03-03, Ukerewe and Simama had significant and positive GCA effects for SRY and DMC, respectively. Further, Ex-Msimbu-1 and Gairo displayed negative and significant (P ≤ 0.01) GCA effect for SPVD resistance. The genotypes Gairo, 03-03, Ukerewe, Simama and Ex-Msimbu-1 are promising parents for sweetpotato breeding to improve NRPP, SRY, DMC and resistance to SPVD. Further, the study selected best performing families namely: 03-03 × Simama, 03-03 × Resisto and  Simama × Ex-Msimbu-1 which recorded the highest mean storage root yields of 16.1, 16.6 and 17.2 tons/ha combined with high DMC and resistant to SPVD for genetic advancement.


Combining ability Diallel analysis Heterosis Gene action Sweetpotato 



The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Government of Tanzania for granting study leave to the first author. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is gratefully acknowledged for financial support of the study through the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Staff at the Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI), Tanzania, Kibaha are acknowledged for their support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Ngailo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hussein Shimelis
    • 2
  • Julia Sibiya
    • 2
  • Kiddo Mtunda
    • 1
  • Jacob Mashilo
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Sugarcane Research InstituteKibahaTanzania
  2. 2.School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal, African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI)Scottsville, PietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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