The possible use of maize populations selected for presence of lethal genes was reported earlier by Salerno (MNL 58:52-53). Additional data involving this subject were later gathered from field evaluations.
One of the populations previously reported (Salerno, MNL 58:52-53) was subjected to yield evaluation and compared with the best two commercial hybrids from Argentina as a check. The results are presented in Table 1, showing grain yield (Kg/Ha), percent moisture content and percent stalk lodging. Assuming the grain yield of the best hybrid (hybrid 1) as 100%, the grain yield of the population that was selected for the presence of the lethal genes was 7% more than the best hybrid, while the population selected for the absence of the lethal genes yielded 9% less than the best hybrid. Considering the populations themselves and assuming the grain yield of the base population as 100%, the grain yield of the population selected for the presence of the lethal genes was 42% more than the base population. At the same time, the population selected for the absence of the lethal genes yielded 21 % more than the base population. The population selected for the presence of the lethal genes also had good characteristics with respect to moisture content and stalk lodging as compared with the other two populations.
Results of this study confirm the usefulness of this alternative method in maize breeding.
Table 1: Yield trial.
Juan C. Salerno
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