Genetic studies on green fodder yield and quality traits in fodder maize (Zea mays L.)
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the genetic divergence in 93 inbreds of fodder maize through genetic variability, D2 and principal component analysis. Observations were recorded on ten biometrical traits and a quality trait. The variability analysis revealed higher GCV and PCV for green fodder yield per plant and higher heritability coupled with high genetic advance for the traits viz., plant height, leaf length and green fodder yield per plant. Hence, the variability study indicated that the direct selection for the above traits would be effective. Diversity analysis sorted the 93 inbreds into eleven clusters. In the case of inter cluster distance, the maximum distance was obtained between clusters VIII and X followed by clusters VI and VIII and VIII and XI indicating that these cluster pairs have a more genetic divergence and the inbreds of these clusters could be utilized in a fodder maize hybridization programme. The D2analysis suggests that the inbreds viz., GETM30, GETM84, GETM12, and GETM81 were distinct and diversified and classed as promising inbreds based on the cluster mean and divergence. These genotypes could be utilized in a fodder maize hybridization programme to obtain heterotic fodder maize hybrids apart from getting the desired segregants in later generations. According to the principle component (PC) analysis, out of 11 PC groups, four PCs recorded more than one Eigenvalue, which contributes 70.30% of the total variability. However, the variability for green fodder yield and its attributing traits were higher in PC1, PC2, PC3 and PC4 and hence, the inbreds that recorded higher PC scores in these components could be utilized in the further hybridization programme to enhance the biomass yield in fodder maize.
Keywords: Fodder maize inbreds, variability, diversity, PCA
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