Banaras Hindu University

Maize breeding year round in the Indian subcontinent: combining ability pattern of inbreds in summer and winter maize

--S. V. Singh, N. J. M. Rao and R. M. Singh

Combining ability pattern of 10 elite inbreds and all possible F1 hybrids for grain yield and other prime traits was studied in 4 diverse environments (E), constituting both summer and winter seasons at Hyderabad (tropical) and Varanasi (subtropical) to characterise good combiners. The inbreds CM 202 and PhDMRF1a3H94 were found to be the best general combiners for grain yield and yield traits in the pooled analysis. Also among the best specific cross combiners, CM 202 ranked first for yield in 5 top combinations followed by PhDMRF1a3H94. Both general and specific combining ability (GCA and SCA) variances were significant, however, the magnitude of GCA variances was higher for all the traits in individual as well as in pooled analyses, thereby showing greater importance of additive and additive epistasis components. The interaction variances for GCA x E and SCA x E were significant, therefore, season and location specific breeding strategies would be more important. The study also revealed that integrated use of temperature and tropical germplasm would be most beneficial.

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