Genetic variability and character association in maize grown in Kashmir

The present investigation was undertaken to assess the genetic parameters and correlation coefficients of 15 local maize varieties (MNL 57:134-137, 1983) grown in sub-mountainous areas of Kashmir valley.

In a randomized block design replicated 4 times at Srinagar, 15 varieties of maize were grown in rows 12 m long, spaced 75 cm apart. The distance between plants was 25 cm. When plants attained a height of 12-15 cm, they were thinned to maintain 1 plant to a hill. Each row represented a plot, and observations were recorded on 10 plants in each plot on 12 characters (Table 1) which were found significant. The analysis of variance showed that there was adequate variation for all the characters. Little difference was observed between the phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variability in all the characters studied excepting leaf-index, indicating that these characters respond less to environmental factors. The genotypic coefficient of variability for most of the characters was very low, i.e. for number of ears per plant (32.50), number of tassel branches per plant (23.45), leaf-index (23.10), ear height (20.98) and shelling percentage (6.42), indicating that these characters are more influenced by environment.

The relative amount of the heritable portion of variation can be assessed through heritable percentage. In our study high heritable values in the broad sense were observed for number of ears per plant, number of leaves per plant, ear height, number of tassel branches per plant and plant height, indicating the importance of these characters in varietal improvement through selection. A high heritable value may be attributed to additive and non-additive gene action. High heritability values, 97.86, 87.30 and 78.84, were observed in number of ears per plant, number of leaves per plant and ear length, respectively. Data on the coefficient of correlation (Table 2) show that ear length x grain moisture percent at harvest had a maximum positive significant genotypic association, followed by plant height x ear height, and 75 percent silking x leaf index, grain moisture percent at harvest and number of leaves per plant, respectively. All the characters except number of ears per plant, shelling percentage and tassel length from flag leaf showed a positive significant correlation at the genotypic level, and this was higher than that of phenotypic correlation.

Table 1. Mean, range, phenotypic genotypic coefficient of variability, heritability and variance for different traits in maize

Table 2. Correlation coefficient among different traits in maize

P. N. Jotshi, K. A. Patel and M. K. Bhan

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.

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