Multivariate diallel analysis allows multiple gains in segregating populations for agronomic traits in Jatropha.
Jatropha is research target worldwide aimed at large-scale oil production for biodiesel and bio-kerosene. Its production potential is among 1200 and 1500 kg/ha of oil after the 4th year. This study aimed to estimate combining ability of Jatropha genotypes by multivariate diallel analysis to select parents and crosses that allow gains in important agronomic traits. We performed crosses in diallel complete genetic design (3 x 3) arranged in blocks with five replications and three plants per plot. The following traits were evaluated: plant height, stem diameter, canopy projection between rows, canopy projection on the line, number of branches, mass of hundred grains, and grain yield. Data were submitted to univariate and multivariate diallel analysis. Genotypes 107 and 190 can be used in crosses for establishing a base population of Jatropha, since it has favorable alleles for increasing the mass of hundred grains and grain yield and reducing the plant height. The cross 190 x 107 is the most promising to perform the selection of superior genotypes for the simultaneous breeding of these traits.