Perennial teosinte-Gaspe hybrids: Inheritance of prolificity

Hybrids between perennial teosinte (Zea perennis) and maize (Gaspe) are extremely heterotic, especially owing to the high prolificity manifested (MNL 56: 104, 1982). We have measured the prolificity of hybrids and their progenitors by counting the number of productive nodes (PN), number of ears in the uppermost node (EUN) and number of ears per tiller (E/T), as shown in Table 1. Figures 1, 2 and 3 show the frequency distribution for the characters studied.

All prolificity values significantly exceeded the progenitors' theoretical mean, not only in F1, but in F2 and F3. Prolificity values stand out as they do not decrease in F2 and F3 with respect to those of F1. This perhaps is owing to some type of preferential selection of prolific genotypes, since many seeds forming these hybrids are not viable.

There is a displacement of the frequency distribution of prolificity characters towards the right of the progenitors. This type of distribution clearly represents a type of heterotic inheritance.

From the results obtained, inheritance values were exceeding 80%, in each case. The hybrids' high prolificity between perennial teosinte and maize, as a heterosis expression, contrasts with those of its progenitors, since normally maize is not prolific and teosinte is not highly prolific either. Consequently, the perennial teosinte germplasm may become valuable in introducing in maize additional heterosis, and so improving the productivity of cultivation.

Figs. 1-3.

Table 1.

Jorge Luis Magoja and Gabriela Nora Benito


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