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Combining Ability and Heterosis for Some Agronomic Traits in Crosses of Maize

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Author(s): M.A. Abdel-Moneam | A.N. Attia | M.I. EL-Emery | E.A. Fayed

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1028-8880

Volume: 12;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 433;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Half diallel crosses | heterosis | General combining ability | specific combining ability

ABSTRACT
In 2007, five maize inbred lines were crossed in all possible combinations without reciprocals by using a half diallel crosses mating design to obtain 10 single cross. Inbred parents and their F1 single crosses were evaluated through 2008 season to evaluate the role of general and specific combining ability and heterosis for some agronomic traits. Results indicated that mean squares of genotypes were highly significant for all studied traits i.e., ear diameter, ear length, number of kernels/row, 100-kernel weight, ear yield per plant, grain yield per plant and shelling percentage. General Combining Ability (GCA) and Specific Combining Ability (SCA) mean squares were highly significant for all studied traits. The GCA/SCA ratio was less than unity for all studied traits; this means that these traits are predominantly controlled by non-additive gene action. Significant positive GCA effects were found for all studied traits. Based on GCA estimates, it could be concluded that the best combiners were Rg5 and Rg8 inbred lines for most of studied traits. This result indicated that these inbred lines could be considered as good combiners for improving these traits. Significant positive SCA effects were found for all studied traits. Based on SCA effects, it could be concluded that the best crosses for ear diameter and 100-kernels weigh was G507AxG516; for ear length was G516xRg8; for kernels number/row was G516xG278; for ear yield/plant, grain yield/plant and Shelling percentage was G278xRg5. These crosses could be selected and used in breeding programs for improving these traits. Results showed positive significant heterosis values for all studied traits. The best crosses over both their mid-parents and better-parents for ear diameter and 100-kernel weigh was G507AxG516; for ear length and kernels number/row was G516xG278; for ear yield/plant and grain yield/plant was G278xRg8 and for Shelling percentage was G278xRg5.
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