Ten peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) lines, two from each of five centers of diversity in South America, and the F2 generation of all possible crosses among them were used to characterize the variation for yield, fruit and seed traits and protein and oil content and to determine the breeding potential of the parents. Two of the parental lines belong to subspecies hypogaea and the other eight to subspecies fastigiata.
Several crosses gave heterotic responses for yield. The parents of the crosses with significant heterosis generally came from different centers of diversity.
Variation among both general and specific combining abilities was significant for all traits with the exception of the SCA estimate for protein percent. The component of variation for GCA was larger than the SCA component for all traits.
A Spanish line and a Valencia-like intermediate line from the Guarani region had the highest GCA effects for fruit yield, seed yield and meat content and transmitted consistently their characteristics to their F2 progeny. Some lines showed significant but small maternal effects for oil, protein and oil + protein percent. Differences between reciprocal crosses were significant for fruit length, fruit weight and oil + protein percent.
A significant portion of the variation among crosses was explained by differences among parental lines within centers of diversity. This supports the fact that centers are founded because of the diversity of the peanuts grown there.
The performance of parental lines per se was useful in predicting the performance of the lines in hybrid combination for all traits except fruit yield.
Arachis hypogaeapeanutgroundnutdiallelgeneral combining abilitycenters of diversitymaternal effectsearly generation testing