Yield stability of maize inbred lines with differential reactions to drought evaluated under stress and non-stress environments

S. K. Meseka, A. Menkir, A. E.S. Ibrahim

Abstract


evaluation of maize inbred lines bred for drought under stress and non-stress environments underlay identification and selection of parental lines for developing hybrids that would combine stability with high yield potential across stress and non-stress conditions. This study was conducted to (i) estimate yield stability in maize inbred lines with differential reactions to drought, and (ii) identify inbred lines that combine stability with high yield potential across stress and non-stress environments. Twenty four maize inbred lines were tested for two years each under severe drought, mild drought, low level of soil nitrogen (low N) and high N, and for four years under irrigated conditions in Nigeria. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Twelve of the 24 inbreds were identified as tolerant to drought, while the other twelve were susceptible. Eight of the 12 drought tolerant inbreds also showed tolerance to low N. Combined analysis of variance for grain yield showed that environments, genotypes and genotype-by-environment (GE) interaction effects were highly significant, indicating that the genotypes responded differently relative to each other to a change in environment. Genotype and genotype-by-environment (GGE) biplot analysis explained 90% of the yield variation as being due to GGE. Nine drought tolerant inbred lines were stable, while most susceptible inbred lines were unstable across environments. The study depicted severe drought stress as a representative test environment, indicating that selection of maize inbred lines under drought stress would lead to yield improvement in low N as well as optimal growing environments. Five inbred lines 4058, KU1409, 161, TZMI501xKU1414x501 and 1824 were identified as stable with high yield potential across the test environments. These inbred lines could be used to develop single-cross hybrids and synthetic varieties for areas with unreliable rainfall as well as soils with low levels of nitrogen

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