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Research Paper

Research Journal of Agricultural Sciences

8(2): 506-509, March-April (2017)
ISSN: 0976-1675 https:// DI: 3986-3011-2016-112

Study of Heterosis and Combining Ability Pattern for Downy Mildew

Resistance in Local Cucumbers of Northern Karnataka
S R Pradhan, P R Dharmatti and *R Jena
Department of Vegetable Science,
College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad - 580 005, Karnataka, India
*College of Agriculture, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India

Received: 30 November 2016; Revised accepted: 27 February 2017

The local cucumber types of Northern Karnataka and hybrids produced using them were screened for downy
mildew incidence using rating scale described by Jenkins and Wehner (1983). Parents DWD-2 and Hot Season were
showing the best resistance pattern against downy mildew with scores of 2 and 3 respectively. Among the parents
Hot Season (-1.875) and White Long (-1.104) were found to be the best general combiners for downy mildew
resistance. Hybrid Hot Season × White Long showed significant negative heterosis over mid parent (-63.64%),
better parent (-75%) and standard check (-60%) and was found to be the best among the lot, indicating the
superiority of the hybrid itself against downy mildew. It also showed the best specific combining ability (-1.458)
among all the crosses hence can be advanced for hybrid development against downy mildew.

Key words: Cucumis sativus, Heterosis, Downy mildew, Screening

C ucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is the most

important salad crop along with the fourth most
widely grown vegetable crop in the world after tomato,
parental lines for further use as a source of resistance/
tolerance for the disease.
Symptoms of cucumber downy mildew generally occur
cabbage and onion. As it is cultivated throughout the world, only on the foliage. Infection first appears as small water
its attacked by many pathogens. There are about 45 different soaked lesions on the underside of leaves. Lesions are often
pathogens of Cucumis species reported to be causing angular, being bound by leaf veins, and turning chlorotic to
different diseases. Among those, downy mildew requires varying degrees. Sporulation occurs on the undersides of the
special attention, as it is the most destructive disease of leaves. Chlorotic lesions eventually turn necrotic. Eventually
the Cucumis species (Lebeda et al. 2006) caused by an the entire leaf will become necrotic and die. Symptoms vary
oomycete Pseudoperonospora cubensis. The pathogen depending on relative susceptibility of the cultigens. The
generally thrives in warm humid regions. The current most resistant cultigens exhibit a hypersensitive response
control relies mainly on multiple fungicide applications that (HR) with small necrotic or chlorotic flecks and sparse
exert selection pressure on the fungus, increasing the risk of sporulation, while the most susceptible cultigens are highly
development of fungicide resistance in the pathogen chlorotic and necrotic. The HR type resistance was fi rst
population (Holmes et al. 2006). Moreover, frequent use of described by Barnes and Epps (1954) in cucumber PI
fungicides can cause harm to environment and become 197087, from a single resistance gene dm-1. Resistance
detrimental to the natural enemies (Kibria et al. 2010, from PI 197087 was used intensively in breeding new
Komarek et al. 2010). Because the fruits of cucumber are cultivars, and most current cultivars are thought to have
used primarily for fresh consumption, the application of some resistance derived from PI 197087.
pesticides is risky, as it may result in unacceptable levels of
pesticide residue. Breeding for disease resistance is the MATERIALS AND METHODS
preferred means of controlling diseases in cucumber as it The experiment was conducted at Main Agricultural
will be both ecologically sound and economically viable for Research Station (MARS), Dharwad. The experimental
the farmers. Hence this experiment was conducted to materials consisted of eleven local genotypes out of which,
produce some high yielding hybrid with field resistance three were used as lines (female parents) viz. Belgaum Local
against downy mildew along with identification of some (BGM), Hot Season (HS) and Hyderabad (HYD) and eight

Pradhan et al. 2017 Research Journal of Agricultural Sciences 8(2)
were used as testers (male parents) viz. Pusa Sanyog, Priya, and standard check cultivar. It is difficult to separate
PCO-2, DWD-1, PCL-1, DWD-2, PCR-1 and White Long cultivars into resistant and susceptible classes since there
along with a check variety ‘Indam Swadisht’. Lines were were no obvious gaps in their distribution over the 0 to 9
crossed with testers to give rise to hybrids in line x tester scale. However, plant breeders often use those terms for
model as suggested by Kempthorne (1957) to produce quantitative traits. In keeping with that practice and to
twenty four hybrids for studying combining ability and remain consistent with previous studies, cultigens having
heterosis of different characters under study. The resultant ratings less than 3.0 were classified highly resistant, from
hybrids were grown in the next season along with the check 3.1 to 4.0 moderately resistant, from 4.1 to 6.0 intermediate,
variety. The parents and F1 hybrids were grown during from 6.1 to 7.0 moderately susceptible, and from 7.1 to 9.0
kharif season of 2015-16 in a randomized complete block highly susceptible (Table 1).
design for further study. During crop growth observations
on different yield attributing characters were recorded and Table 1 Disease rating scale for downy mildew screening
disease rating was done among the parents and hybrids. The in cucumber (Jenkins and Wehner 1983)
crop growing period was during the kharif season which was
Percentage of Scales of Resistance or
warm and humid providing the suitable climatic condition
symptomatic leaf area rating susceptibility pattern
for normal growth of the downy mildew pathogen. Disease
0 0 Highly resistant
was evaluated as chlorotic lesions, necrotic lesions, degree
1-3 1 Highly resistant
of stunting, lesion size and sporulation. Chlorosis, necrosis,
3-6 2 Highly resistant
and sporulation were rated on a 0 to 9 scale based on
6-12 3 Highly resistant
percentage of symptomatic leaf area (0 represents 0%, 1
12-25 4 Moderately resistant
represents 1–3%, 2 represents 3–6%, 3 represents 6–12%, 4
25-50 5 Intermediate
represents 12–25%, 5 represents 25–50%, 6 represents 50–
50-75 6 Intermediate
75%, 7 represents 75–87%, 8 represents 87–99%, and 9
75-87 7 Highly succeptible
represents 100%) as described by Jenkins and Wehner
87-99 8 Highly succeptible
(1983). Heterosis was calculated as the percentage increase
100 9 Highly succeptible
of F1 performance over the mid parental value, better parent

Table 2 Per se performance, magnitude of heterosis and combining ability for downy mildew scoring in cucumber
Per se performance Heterosis % over
Line Tester Mean F1 Mid Parent Better Parent Check
BGM × PusaSanyog 6.50 5.50 6.00 7.50 25.00 15.38 50.00*
BGM × Priya 6.00 6.25 7.50 20.00 15.38 50.00*
BGM × PCO-2 7.00 6.75 7.00 3.70 0.00 40.00
BGM × DWD-1 4.00 5.25 7.50 42.86* 15.38 50.00*
BGM × PCL-1 6.00 6.25 7.00 12.00 7.69 40.00
BGM × DWD-2 2.00 4.25 8.00 88.24** 23.08 60.00*
BGM × PCR-1 6.50 6.50 7.50 15.38 15.38 50.00*
BGM × White Long 8.00 7.25 7.00 -3.45 -12.50 40.00
Hot Season × PusaSanyog 3.00 5.50 4.25 3.00 -41.18 -54.55* -50.00*
Hot Season × Priya 6.00 4.50 3.50 -22.22 -41.67* -30.00
Hot Season × PCO-2 7.00 5.00 3.00 -40.00 -57.14** -40.00
Hot Season × DWD-1 4.00 3.50 7.00 100.00** 75.00* 40.00
Hot Season × PCL-1 6.00 4.50 7.00 55.56* 16.67 40.00
Hot Season × DWD-2 2.00 2.50 6.50 160.00** 116.67** 30.00
Hot Season × PCR-1 6.50 4.75 4.50 -5.26 -30.77 -10.00
Hot Season × White Long 8.00 5.50 2.00 -63.64** -75.00** -60.00*
Hyderabad × PusaSanyog 5.00 5.50 5.25 7.00 33.33 27.27 40.00
Hyderabad × Priya 6.00 5.50 8.00 45.45* 33.33 60.00*
Hyderabad × PCO-2 7.00 6.00 6.50 8.33 -7.14 30.00
Hyderabad × DWD-1 4.00 4.50 8.00 77.78** 60.00* 60.00*
Hyderabad × PCL-1 6.00 5.50 8.00 45.45* 33.33 60.00*
Hyderabad × DWD-2 2.00 3.50 8.00 128.57** 60.00* 60.00*
Hyderabad × PCR-1 6.50 5.75 6.50 13.04 0.00 30.00
Hyderabad × White Long 8.00 6.50 7.00 7.69 -12.50 40.00
Standard Check (Indam Swadisht) 5.00
S.Em± 0.83 1.01 1.16 1.16
CD (5%) 2.38 2.09 2.41 2.41

Combining Ability Pattern for Downy Mildew Resistance

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION hybrids showing significant negative better parent heterosis
The term heterosis in general refers to superiority of are Hot Season × PCO-2 (-57.14%), Hot Season × Pusa
hybrids over its parents, which may be in terms of Sanyog (-54.55%) and Hot Season × Priya (-41.67%). The
vegetative growth, yield parameters, earliness characters and results were found to be in accordance with the results
disease pest resistance. It is one of the most important shown by Shifriss et al. (1945), Rai and Rai (2006), Brar et
techniques of vegetable breeding to produce high yielding al. (2011). Multiple resistant hybrids like Poinsettia and
varieties with disease resistance (using dominance gene some other recent hybrids from Monsanto had also been
action for disease resistance most effectively). Just like developed against downy mildew resistance. Hence there is
earliness, for disease resistance negative heterosis is desired a good scope for developing disease resistance capability of
as lower values in disease screening represents better plants especially hybrid cucumbers through use of heterosis
resistance characters. So with the objectives of finding out breeding.
the superior high yielding hybrids with resistance to downy The combining ability analysis gives an indication of
mildew, the F1s were developed and compared along with the variance due to gca and sca, which represent a relative
the best checks available. measure of additive and non-additive gene actions,
The scoring for downy mildew resistance varied from 3 respectively. It is an established fact that dominance is a
(Hot Season) to 6.5 (BGM) among the lines (Table 2). This component of non-additive genetic variance (breeding
also ranged from 2 (DWD-2) to 8 (White Long). The value). Breeders use these variance components to infer the
scoring ranged from 3 (Hot Season x BGM) to 8 (Hot gene action and to assess the genetic potentialities of the
Season × DWD-2, HYD × Priya, HYD × DWD-1, HYD × parents in hybrid combination. The ultimate choice of
PCL-1 and HYD × DWD-2). The heterosis over mid parent parents to be used in a breeding programme is determined
ranged from -63.64 % to 160%. The heterosis over better by per se performance and their behaviour in hybrid
parent and standard check ranged from -75% to 116.67% combination. Some idea on the usefulness of the parents
and -60% to 60% respectively. Only hybrid Hot Season × may be obtained from their individual performance. It is
White Long showed significant negative heterosis over mid therefore, necessary to assess genetic potentialities of the
parent (-63.64%), better parent (-75%) and standard check (- parents in hybrid combination through studies in relation to
60%) and was found to be the best among the lot. Another general and specific combining abilities. Line × tester
hybrid Hot Season × Pusa Sanyog (-50%) also showed method has been used in the present study for estimating
significant negative heterosis over the standard check. Other combining abilities.

Table 3 Combining ability performance among the parents and crosses for downy mildew scoring in cucumber
Crosses Line (gca) Tester (gca) F1 (sca)
BGM × PusaSanyog 0.938** -0.604 0.729
BGM × Priya -0.104 0.229
BGM × PCO-2 -0.938** 0.563
BGM × DWD-1 1.603* -0.938*
BGM × PCL-1 0.896 -1.271**
BGM × DWD-2 1.063* -0.438
BGM × PCR-1 -0.271* 0.396
BGM × White Long -1.104** 0.729
Hot Season × PusaSanyog -1.875** -0.604 -0.958*
Hot Season × Priya -0.104 -0.958*
Hot Season × PCO-2 -0.938** -0.625
Hot Season × DWD-1 1.603* 1.375
Hot Season × PCL-1 0.896 1.542
Hot Season × DWD-2 1.063* 0.875
Hot Season × PCR-1 -0.271* 0.208
Hot Season × White Long -1.104** -1.458**
Hyderabad × PusaSanyog 0.938** -0.604 0.229
Hyderabad × Priya -0.104 0.729
Hyderabad × PCO-2 -0.938** 0.063
Hyderabad × DWD-1 1.603* -0.438
Hyderabad × PCL-1 0.896 -0.271
Hyderabad × DWD-2 1.063* -0.438
Hyderabad × PCR-1 -0.271* -0.604
Hyderabad × White Long -1.104** 0.729
CD(5%) 0.604 0.986 1.708
gca- general combining ability,
sca- specific combining ability [values in bracket indicate combining ability]

Pradhan et al. 2017 Research Journal of Agricultural Sciences 8(2)
The combining ability concept was first proposed by The other crosses showing very good specific combining
Sprague and Tatum (1942) in corn. According to them, the ability are BGM X PCL-1 (-1.217), Hot Season × Pusa
general combining ability (gca) is the comparative ability of Sanyog (-0.958), Hot Season × Priya (-0.958) and BGM ×
the mean performance of all the cross involving a parent DWD-1 (-0.938) as the parents Hot Season and White Long
from over all mean. Specific combining ability (sca) was were showing better general combining ability for downy
defined as the deviation in the performance of specific cross mildew resistance indicating their above average
from the performance expected on the basis of general performance than all other parents by expressing their
combining ability effects of parents involved in the crosses. genetic potential. Hence they can be used in further breeding
A positive general combining ability (gca) indicates a parent programmes as parents to act as source of
that produced above average progeny, whereas parent with tolerance/resistance to produce downy mildew resistant
negative gca produces progeny that performs below average plants.
of the population. Specific combining ability (sca) can be There were parents (like DWD-2 and Hot Season)
either negative or positive and sca always refers to specific showing substantial traits for resistance against this disease
cross and never to particular parent by itself. and also good gca to transfer these traits. Some of the
The parents Hot Season (-1.875) and White Long (- hybrids produced (like Hot Season × White Long) were also
1.104) were found to be the best general combiners for showing very good heterosis for resistance. These lines can
downy mildew resistance [Table 3] which might have be regarded as superior parents and the F1s showing
contributed to the superior performance of the cross resistance/ tolerance can be directly used for development of
involving these two parents i.e. Hot Season × White Long. hybrids or can be further analysed in next segregating
This particular hybrid also showed the best specific generations for analysing the inheritance of the resistance
combining ability (-1.458) among all the crosses indicating trait to release as a variety. Heterosis breeding can act as a
the superiority of the hybrid itself. So the hybridity was source of both high yield potential and downy mildew
contributed not only by the parents but also by the cross. resistance to develop superior hybrids.

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