Data from 14 traits in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) were analysed by parent-offspring regression to produce estimates of heritability and phenotypic, genotypic, and environmental correlations. Heritability estimates determined from correlation coefficients (h2 = r), equivalent to regression analysis on data coded in standard deviation units (h2 = b1), were low (5–13%) for maturity and yield traits, and moderate (53–71%) for fruit appearance and quality traits. Soluble solids content at h2 = 16% was the exception. Heritabilities calculated by intraclass correlations of half-sib progenies (h2 = 4ths) provided many values which exceeded 100%. Phenotypic, genotypic and environmental correlations among paired traits indicated many significant and desirable relationships which could be used to reduce numbers of observations on breeding materials as well as provide guidance for selection within future muskmelon populations. Correlated responses were predicted for all traits from single-trait selection of several fruit quality characters. Predicted and realized responses in the offspring generation by simulated direct selection (10%) for each character within the parent population are presented. Priorities for trait selection and choice of breeding procedures for improvement in muskmelon are discussed. External fruit characters such as net appearance and nonindented vein tracts, or intermediate fruit size, each of which can be scored visually and rapidly, appear most suited for selection within these populations.
Received for publication July 7, 1980.
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