Genetic parameters and path analysis in cowpea genotypes grown in the Cerrado/Pantanal ecotone.
Estimating genetic parameters in plant breeding allows us to know the population potential for selecting and designing strategies that can maximize the achievement of superior genotypes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic potential of a population of 20 cowpea genotypes by estimating genetic parameters and path analysis among the traits to guide the selection strategies. The trial was conducted in randomized block design with four replications. Its morphophysiological components, components of green grain production and dry grain yield were estimated from genetic use and correlations between the traits. Phenotypic correlations were deployed through path analysis into direct and indirect effects of morphophysiological traits and yield components on dry grain yield. There were significant differences (P < 0.01) between the genotypes for most the traits, indicating the presence of genetic variability in the population and the possibility of practicing selection. The population presents the potential for future genetic breeding studies and is highly promising for the selection of traits dry grain yield, the number of grains per pod, and hundred grains mass. A number of grains per green pod is the main determinant trait of dry grain yield that is also influenced by the cultivar cycle and that the selection for the dry grain yield can be made indirectly by selecting the green pod mass and green pod length.