Skip to main content

The effectiveness of early generation (F3) yield testing and the single seed descent procedures in two cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) crosses


Two breeding procedures were compared in two cowpea crosses. Both procedures were started from the same selected F2 plants in each cross. For the early generation yield testing, the F3 lines were yield tested and a pedigree and bulk methods followed in F4 and F5. Each F5 line was bulked to provide seed for a yield test in F6. In the Single Seed Descent (SSD) procedure, a single seed was taken from each F2 plant to produce the F3 generation. The procedure was repeated for the F4 and F5. The F6 SSD lines and the F6 yield testing lines were compared in yield tests.

The results showed that differences in yielding ability of F3 lines persisted over generations indicating that selection was effective. This was confirmed by the high significant correlations between F3 yields and those of later generations which ranged from r=0.51* to 0.85**.

The grain yields of lines derived by the single seed descent procedure were as good as those derived from early generation yield testing.

Significant linear correlation between visual rating of F3 and F6 yields with actual yields revealed that it is possible to identify promising lines of cowpea visually.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Atkins R. E., 1964. Visual selection for grain yield in barley. Crop Sci. 4: 494–496.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Boerma H. R. & R. L. Cooper, 1975. Comparison of three selection procedure for yield in soybeans. Crop Sci. 15: 225–229.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Briggs K. G. & L. H. Shebeski, 1971. Early generation selection for yield and bread making quality of hard ared spring wheat. Euphytica 20: 453–463.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brim C. A., 1966. A modified pedigree method of selection in soybeans. Crop Sci. 6: 220.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Casall W. D. V. & E. C. Tigchelaar, 1975. Computer simulated studies comparing pedigree, bulk and single seed descent selection in self-pollinated populations. J. Amm. Soc. Hort. Sci. 100(4): 364–367.

    Google Scholar 

  6. De Pauw L. G. & L. H. Shebeski, 1973. An evaluation of early generation yield testing procedure in Triticum aestivum. Can. J. Plant Sci. 53: 463–470.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Hanson W. D., R. C. Leffel & H. W. Johnson, 1962. Visual discrimination for yield among soybean phenotypes. Crop Sci. 2: 93–96.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Kheradnam M. & M. Niknejad, 1974. Heritability estimates and correlation of agronomic characters. Agric. Sci. 82: 207–208.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Knott D. R. & J. Kumar, 1975. Comparison of early generation yield testing and single seed desscent procedure in wheat breeding. Crop Sci. 15: 295–299.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Kwon S. H. & J. H. Torrie, 1964. Visual discrimination in two soybean populations. Crop Sci. 4: 287–290.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Lal S., M. Singh & M. M. Pathak, 1977. Combining ability in cowpea. Indian J. Genet. and Plant Breeding 35(2): 375–378.

    Google Scholar 

  12. O'Brien L., R. L. Baker & L. E. Evans, 1978. Response to selection for yield in F3 of four wheat crosses. Crop Sci. 18: 1029–1033.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Pesek J. & R. J. Baker, 1971. Comparison of predicted and observed response to selection for yield in wheat. Can. J. Plant Sci. 51: 167–192.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Singh K. B. & R. P. Jain, 1972. Heterosis and combining ability in cowpea. Indian J. Genet. and Plant Breeding 32: 62–66.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Whan B. R., Rathjen A. J. & R. Knight, 1981. The relation between lines derived from F2, F3, F4 and F5 generation for grain yield and harvest index. Euphytica 30(2): 419–430.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ntare, B.R., Aken'ova, M.E., Redden, R.J. et al. The effectiveness of early generation (F3) yield testing and the single seed descent procedures in two cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) crosses. Euphytica 33, 539–547 (1984).

Download citation

Index words

  • Vigna unguiculata
  • cowpea
  • early generation selection
  • single seed descent selection