Combining ability and heterosis in single crosses derived from some local maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines

Ahmad A. Elkhalf, Eltahir S. Ali, Silvestro K. Meseka, Abu Elhassan S. Ibrahim


This study was conducted to assess the grain yield, combining ability and heterosis of some local maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines and then hybrids. Experiments were carried out during autumn in 2008 at Gezira Research Station (GRS) and Matuq Research Station (MRS) of the Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Sudan, in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Combining ability was studied among 8 (4 white and 4 yellow) local inbred lines of maize and their 28 F1 crosses. Most of the parents were late flowering except L-11 and L-12. Results of mean grain yield performance showed that crosses L-11×L-7 and L-14×L-7 were the best at GRS with means of 6229and 6147 kg ha, respectively; while at MRS, crosses L-14× L-3 and L-7× L-1 were the best with mean grain yields of 3929 and 3860 kg/ha, respectively. Combined analysis of variance across sites identified L-3×L-7 and L-14×L-7 as the top grain yielders coupled with earliness and short plant height. Combining ability analysis revealed that non-additive genetic effects were more important for the measured traits. Lines L-7 and L-1 showed the best GCA effects for grain yield and 100 kernels weight in GRS, while L-11 and L-13 in MRS. Lines L-9, L-12 and L-11 were good general combiners for earliness. Maximum heterosis for grain yield (79.2%) was obtained in the cross L-14xL-7 at GRS, while L-14xL-3 at MRS (218.1%). At both locations, crosses L-14xL-7, L-14xL-3, L-1xL-9, L-14xL-9 and L-11xL-3 were the best specific combiners (SCA) for grain yield that associated with good SCA effects and heterotic pattern. Hence, these hybrids could be recommended for further testing in multi-location trails to confirm the consistency of their grain yield.

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