Genetic analysis of grain yield and agronomic traits of early provitamin A quality protein maize inbred lines in contrasting environments uri icon

abstract

  • Early-maturing provitamin A (PVA) quality protein maize (QPM) hybrids with combined drought and low soil nitrogen (low-N) tolerance are needed to address malnutrition and food security problems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The current study's objectives were to (i) examine combining ability of selected early maturing PVA-QPM inbreds for grain yield and other agronomic traits under drought, low-N, optimal environments and across environments, (ii) determine gene action conditioning PVA accumulation under optimal environments, (iii) classify inbreds into heterotic groups and identify testers and (iv) assess yield and stability of hybrids across environments. Ninety-six hybrids generated from 24 inbred lines using the North Carolina Design II together with four commercial hybrid controls were evaluated under drought, low-N and optimal environments in Nigeria in 2016 and 2017. Fifty-four selected hybrids were assayed for PVA carotenoid and tryptophan content. Additive genetic effects were greater than non-additive effects for grain yield and most agronomic traits under each and across environments. The gene action conditioning accumulation of PVA carotenoids under optimal growing conditions followed a pattern similar to that of grain yield and other yield-related traits. The inbred lines were categorized into four heterotic groups consistent with the pedigree records and with TZEIORQ 29 identified as the best male and female tester for heterotic group IV. No tester was found for the other groups. Hybrid TZEIORQ 24 x TZEIORQ 41 was the highest yielding and most stable across environments and should be further tested for consistent performance for commercialization in SSA.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019