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Samíria Pinheiro dos Santos, Kaesel Jackson Damasceno-Silva, Walter Frazão Lelis de Aragão, Maurício dos Santos Araújo and Maurisrael de Moura Rocha

ARTICLE – Genetic control of traits related to maturity in cowpea

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate genetic control of the traits
number of days to flowering (NDF) and number of days to maturity (NDM) in
a cowpea cross. Genetic parameters were estimated in segregating and nonsegregating
generations of a cross between two contrasting cowpea genotypes
(MNC05-828C-1-9-1 × MNC04-792F-146). No evidence for maternal effect was
found for either trait. Broad and narrow sense heritability estimates were above
50%, allowing genetic gains from selection of plants in the F2 generation. High
significance of additive gene effects and low contribution of dominance and
epistatic effects were detected for both traits. The estimated number of genes
controlling the traits was around 4 for NDF and 5 for NDM. The results suggest
that early-maturing cowpea self-fertilized cultivars can be developed through
standard breeding approaches, meeting the demands of modern agricultural
systems for more crop seasons per year and mechanized harvesting.

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