Genetic evaluation of drought tolerance in maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines using tolerance indices
Genetic evaluation based on drought tolerant indices was conducted under moisture stress and well watered conditions using 98 maize inbreds along with four checks by following RBD with two replications. STI, GMP and MP are the most appropriate indices which determine drought tolerance and they showed high heritability coupled with high genetic advance over per cent mean. STI, GMP, MP, HARM, DI and K2 exhibited positive and significant association with grain yield under stress situation. Path coefficient analysis showed that positive and direct affect of MP, SSPI, K1 and RDI on grain yield in stress thus, direct selection based on these indices could be advisable to improve drought tolerance. Mahalanobi’s D2 analysis had found out the occurrence of wide range of diversity among the inbreds selected for study. Eight different clusters were formed, in which cluster I had 69 inbreds whereas, cluster VI and VII were singletons’, suggesting their uniqueness. Highest inter cluster distance was observed between cluster V and cluster VI where crossing can be recommended to develop drought tolerant heterotic hybrids. Mean of Stress tolerance index was high in cluster III it is comparable with tolerant check found in cluster V. Stress Tolerance Index was the major traits which contributed highest towards genetic diversity observed in the inbreds. Of the 98 inbreds considered for the evaluation, 30 inbreds showed minimum yield reduction (TOL) in stress condition. Among the 31 inbreds, MLB34, BLSB7-1, PDM 6572, PDM 6541and PDM 6529 were considered as tolerant based on Stress Susceptibility Index. Therefore, above study would serve the requirements for development of moisture stress tolerant hybrids by looking in to variability, character association, divergence and drought tolerant indices.
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