Estimating the Broad-Sense Heritability of Early Growth of Cowpea Journal Article uri icon



  • Cowpea is an important tropical crop. It provides a large proportion of the food resource for the African human population and their livestock. The yield and quality of cowpea have been dramatically improved through traditional breeding strategies for the past few decades. However, reports of heritability estimates for early growth of cowpea are rare. We designed a simple experiment to estimate the broad-sense heritability of early growth. We randomly selected 15 cowpea varieties among a total of 5000 cowpea accessions maintained in the cowpea breeding facility at the University of California, Riverside to examine the genetic determination of early growth of cowpea (measured as the height at day five after seeding). The estimated broad-sense heritability on the individual plant basis is 0.2190. However, the corresponding estimate on the plant mean basis (average of four plants) is 0.5198, which is very high for a quantitative trait. The high heritability may explain why traditional breeding for cowpea growth is so effective. Since the design of experiment and method of data analysis are novel, this report can serve as an educational note for students in the area of quantitative genetics and plant breeding.

publication date

  • June 7, 2009

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • January 17, 2024 2:51 AM

Full Author List

  • Xu NW; Xu S; Ehlers J

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1687-5370

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1687-5389

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 4


  • 2009