Gene action conditioning resistance traits to spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus, in grain sorghum

  • P. W. MuturiEmail author
  • M. Mgonja
  • P. Rubaihayo
Original Research Article


Understanding the mode of gene action conditioning traits of interest in sorghum is important for effective and efficient plant breeding programs. The objective of this study was to establish the nature of gene action for components that contribute to resistance to spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus, in grain sorghum. The experimental material consisted of seventeen sorghum lines with varying levels of resistance to C. partellus. Genetic analyses were performed using a line x tester method using Genstat statistical software. There was significant variation among the F1 for C. partellus resistance and grain yield. The general combining ability (GCA) for deadheart damage was significant (P ≤ 0.01) implying that this trait was governed by an additive type of gene action. Specific combining ability (SCA) for exit holes and stem tunneling were significant (P ≤ 0.01) suggesting that these characters were conditioned by both additive and non-additive types of gene action. Lines ICSA 472, ICSA 464, ICSB 474 contributed high levels of resistance to hybrids while IESV 93042 SH, IS 21879 and IESV 91131 DL were good sources of genes for high grain yield. This observation implied that grain yield and stem borer resistance traits should be considered in development of C. partellus resistant sorghum since a resistant line doesn’t necessarily yield high and vice versa. Generally, results of this study indicated that it would be possible to breed for high C. partellus resistance from this set of germplasm for cultivation by farmers in areas where the insect pest causes epidemics.


Genetic gain GCA Heritability SCA Sorghum bicolor Chilo partellus 



Financial support from Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Carnegie Corporation of New York, USA, and Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) of Sorghum and Millets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation implemented by ICRISAT is acknowledged. We are thankful to ICRISAT for providing sorghum germplasm for the study. Dr. Sharma HC from ICRISAT India is thanked for pre-reviewing this paper. KARI Kiboko Research Station is thanked for hosting the research. Authors appreciate ICRISAT research team Mr. Patrick Sheunda, Mr. Julius Ombaki and Mr. Joseph Kibuka for technical support.


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Copyright information

© African Association of Insect Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Resource ManagementUniversity of EmbuEmbuKenya
  2. 2.Alliance for a Green Revolution in AfricaDar es SalaamTanzania
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural ProductionMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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