Combining ability and performance of extra-early maturing yellow maize inbreds in hybrid combinations under drought and rain-fed conditions uri icon

abstract

  • Maize (Zea mays L.) is a major staple food and cash crop in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, its production and productivity are severely constrained by drought. A total of 120 single-cross hybrids and an open-pollinated control variety were evaluated for 2 years at two locations under managed drought and rain-fed conditions in Nigeria. The objective of the present study was to assess their performance, classify them into distinct heterotic groups and identify promising hybrids for commercialization in the West and Central Africa sub-region. General combining ability and specific combining ability mean squares were highly significant for grain yield and other traits under the research environments. However, there was a preponderance of additive gene action over non- additive. Only six out of 39 inbreds were classified into distinct heterotic groups by the testers. The highest-yielding drought-tolerant hybrid, TZEEI 102 x TZEEI 95, out-yielded the open-pollinated control variety by 43.70%. The average yield reduction under drought was 54.90% of the yield under rain-fed conditions. The hybrids TZEEI 81 x TZEEI 79, TZEEI 100 x TZEEI 63 and TZEEI 64 x TZEEI 79 were the highest-yielding and most stable across environments. These outstanding drought-tolerant hybrids, which are also resistant to Striga, have the potential to contribute to food security and increased incomes in SSA and should be tested extensively on-farm and commercialized.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017