Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 351–360 | Cite as

Inheritance of resistance to coffee wilt disease (Fusarium xylarioides Steyaert) in Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora Pierre) and breeding perspectives

  • Pascal C. Musoli
  • Christian Cilas
  • David Pot
  • Agnes Nabaggala
  • Saleh Nakendo
  • James Pande
  • André Charrier
  • Thierry Leroy
  • Daniel Bieysse
Original Paper


Knowledge on heritability is essential for selecting varieties resistant against coffee wilt disease caused by Fusarium xylarioides, which is currently devastating coffee in East and Central Africa. Variability of the resistance against coffee wilt disease in Coffea canephora and its inheritance were investigated in three experiments corresponding to a clonal trial involving 20 clones, a 10-parent partial diallel progeny, and a half-sib progeny test. There were significant quantitative genetic variations among the clones and progenies, suggesting polygenic control of the resistance. Around 50–65 % tree mortality was the optimal disease level for calculating heritability and genetic gains. General and specific combining abilities calculated within the optimal disease range for partial diallel analysis were significant. Broad-sense heritability for the same analysis and same disease range was moderate (0.329), and corresponding narrow-sense heritability was low (0.112). Broad-sense heritability from clones in the field at the same disease range was also moderate (0.333). Narrow-sense heritability from regression of half-sib progeny means onto parent means in the field and screen house was 0.183 and 0.369, respectively. Selecting tolerant clones for improvement against the disease is possible, and genetic gains are possible by using tolerant parents in breeding programs.


Wilt disease Fusarium xylarioides Coffea canephora Heritability Partial resistance 



This work was supported by a grant from the European Union within the framework of INCO-COWIDI project on genetic resistance against coffee wilt in Uganda.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascal C. Musoli
    • 1
  • Christian Cilas
    • 2
  • David Pot
    • 3
  • Agnes Nabaggala
    • 1
  • Saleh Nakendo
    • 1
  • James Pande
    • 1
  • André Charrier
    • 4
  • Thierry Leroy
    • 3
  • Daniel Bieysse
    • 5
  1. 1.Coffee Research InstituteMukonoUganda
  2. 2.CIRADMontpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.CIRADMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.SUPAGROMontpellier Cedex 1France
  5. 5.CIRADMontpellier Cedex 5France

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