Comparative efficiency of honeycomb and conventional pedigree methods of selection for yield and fiber quality in cotton (Gossypium spp.)
The effectiveness of honeycomb pedigree selection (HPS) as compared to conventional pedigree selection (CPS) was studied in one intraspecific (G. hirsutum L. x G. hirsutum L.) cross population (population I) and one interspecific ( G. hirsutum L. x G.barbadense L.) cross population (population II). Combined selection for yield and lint quality traits was applied for four cycles at two locations for population I and at one location for population II. Finally, the best F-6 lines derived by each method, together with the unselected population derived by single seed descent (SSD) and three check cultivars, were tested in comparative experiments, separately for each cross, at the same locations. In both populations the analysis of variance indicated significant differences among the groups of the material tested for seedcotton yield, mean boll weight, micronaire reading, staple length, and uniformity ratio. No significant differences were found with respect to plant height, lint percentage, and fiber strength in population I and with respect to lint percentage and fiber strength in population II. In population I, on the basis of mean seedcotton yield and number of superior lines derived by each method as compared to the check varieties and the unselected SSD population, HPS-lines were superior to CPS-lines for seedcotton yield, fiber length and boll weight. HPS-lines, however, did not differ significantly in seedcotton yield from the best check cultivar Eva. Finally, the material derived by CPS was earlier in maturity than the material derived by HPS and SSD. Also in population II, on the basis of mean seedcotton yield and number of superior lines derived by each method as compared to the unselected SSD population, HPS-lines were superior to CPS-lines. No significant differences, however, were identified between the material of the two methods for lint quality traits. It was concluded that in both populations HPS was more effective than CPS in identifying lines with high yielding ability and good lint quality. This superiority of HPS is attributed, at least partially, to its effectiveness in early generation selection.