Genetics of ear traits and grain yield in quality protein maize (Zea mays L.)
Keywords: Maize, Component analysis, gene action, diallel, QPM, heritability.
AbstractHayman’s component analysis was employed to ascertain the gene actions conditioning the ear related traits viz., ear length, ear diameter, kernel rows per ear, kernels per row and grain yield per plant in quality protein maize. Eight yellow seeded quality protein maize (QPM) inbred lines were crossed in diallel mating design, including reciprocals. The inbreds and their 56 crosses were evaluated in randomized block design with 3 replications across the three environments. Significant differences among genotypes observed for all the traits over the environments. Influence of epistasis found for all the traits in one or more seasons except ear length. Ear length exhibited importance of additive gene effects across the seasons. Over-dominance showed in all the characters. The range of narrow sense heritability was low over the environments for most of the traits i.e. for ear length (15.1-19.3%), ear diameter (12.1-17.7%), kernels per row (23.6-30.5%) and grain yield per plant (13.6-19.5%) whereas kernel rows per ear exhibited moderate narrow sense heritability ranging from 44.3-66.5% over the environments. In general, narrow sense heritability estimates were higher in rabi environment as compared to kharif environment
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