Genetic analysis for fodder yield and component traits in maize (Zea mays L.)

  • M. Dhasarathan, C. Babu and K. Iyanar
Keywords: Maize, Fodder, GCA, Heterosis, SCA


An investigation was carried out to assess the possibility of exploiting heterosis for green fodder yield in maize and to identify parents with desirable genetic effects. Seven maize parents having forage value along with fodder maize variety African Tall were utilized to produce 21 hybrids through Diallel (without reciprocal) mating design. The hybrids along with parents were subjected to study general and specific combining ability for fodder yield and its contributing traits. The analysis of variance revealed that significant differences for general and specific combining ability which indicated the presence of additive as well as non additive gene effects controlling the fodder yield component traits. However, relative magnitude of these variances showed that non additive gene effects were more prominent for most of the traits studied except for leaf length, stem girth, leaf stem ratio and green fodder yield. The parent African Tall was identified as the best general combiner for fodder yield and its contributing characters. The crosses showing significant sca effect for fodder yield involved low × low and low × high gca parents which could be exploited for hybrid vigour. The mid and better parent heterosis expressed by the different crosses were ranged from -26.14 to 97.08% and -55.69 to 70.12% respectively for green fodder yield. Two crosses viz., FDM 7 x African Tall and FDM 37 x African Tall proved to be better and may be studied in future to produce promising fodder maize hybrids which would help to sustain the economic wellbeing of dairy farmers.
Research Article