A possible relation between germinative energy and grain yield --I. G. Palacios and J. L. Magoja With the purpose of finding out whether there is any kind of association between the germinative energy and the grain yield, seeds from 15 full sib families derived from a perennial teosinte (Zea perennis) introgressed population of maize, and from a complete diallel cross among five of those families (the ones of high yield), were put to germinate in the darkness at 28 C for 6 days. The 15 families used represent in equal number (five), low, medium and high grain yields in the population. For each family or cross, 10 seeds per Petri dish were used and weighed at 24 hour intervals until the 6th germination day. The families and the crosses were part of a complete randomized design with two repetitions for each stage. Being the most relevant difference, we only consider herein the stage of six germination days.

Based on the fresh weight of each seedling (SFW) and the initial kernel weight (KW), the germinative energy (GE) was quantified by the formula: GE = SFW-KW/KW. The results obtained on the 6th germination day, for the full sib families classified according to their yield, are supplied in Table 1. As can be seen, the high yield families have significantly higher GE values than the low yield ones. The correlation between yield and GE at the 6th germination day is significant (r = 0.668**), indicating that in most cases, a high germinative energy is associated with a high yield.

Table 1. Grain yield and germinative energy means of full sib families.

In the crosses between families (see Table 2) a very variable and significant heterosis takes place in most cases. If the association between yield and germinative energy can be verified again after an analysis involving a greater number of families and their crossings, these quick and simple determinations could be of use to predict the combining ability for yield of this introgressed maize.

Table 2. Percent of heterosis (%H) for germinative energy.


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