Agronomic Performance of Striga Resistant Early‐Maturing Maize Varieties and Inbred Lines in the Savannas of West and Central Africa
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The potential maize (Zea mays L.) yield in the savannas of West and Central Africa (WCA) is constrained by Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. parasitism. Field trials at Ferkessedougou, Cote d'Ivoire; Abuja, Nigeria; and Mokwa, Nigeria, in 2002, and at Mokwa and Abuja in 2004, evaluated the performance of 11 early maturing maize varieties under artificial Striga infestation and Striga-free conditions. Another trial at Mokwa and Abuja in 2004 evaluated 100 early maturing inbred lines under Striga infestation and Striga-free conditions. The varieties differed significantly in grain yield under both conditions. Acr 94 TZE Comp 5-W, Acr TZE Comp 5-Y, and TZE-W Pop x 1368 STR C-1 were identified as promising varieties, based on grain yield, Striga damage ratings, and Striga emergence counts. The most promising variety, Acr 94 TZE Comp. 5-W in terms of high grain yield, reduced Striga damage and low Striga emergence, outyielded the reference entry by 2% under Striga-free conditions and 45% under Striga infestation. Ward cluster analysis of the varieties and inbred lines produced four major clusters each, under both Striga-infested and Striga-free conditions. In each case, the varieties and inbred lines assigned to each cluster under Striga infestation differed from those in the Striga-free conditions. Several inbred lines with high grain yield, low Striga emergence and reduced Striga damage were identified as sources of Striga resistance for maize breeding programs in WCA.
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