Gene Action and Heterosis Study in Hybrids Derived from New Inbred Lines in Maize (Zea mays L.)  

Udaykumar Kage1 , M.C. Wali2 , Deepa Madalageri3 , Prakash Natikar1 , Prakash Gangashetty1
1. Department od Genetics and Plant Breeding, Univarsity of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, India
2. AICRP on Maize, ARS, Arabhavi, UAS, Dharwad, India
3. Department of Food Science and Nutrition, UAS, Dharwad, India
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2013, Vol. 4, No. 18   doi: 10.5376/mpb.2013.04.0018
Received: 26 May, 2013    Accepted: 10 Jun., 2013    Published: 13 Jun., 2013
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Kage et al., 2013, Gene Action and Heterosis Study in Hybrids Derived from New Inbred Lines in Maize (Zea mays L.), Molecular Plant Breeding, Vol.4, No.18 146-149 (doi: 10.5376/mpb.2013.04.0018)


The present study was conducted to estimate the heterosis for yield and yield related traits in 30 hybrids developed from ten lines crossed with three testers and explore them in commercial breeding. Thirty F1s generated were evaluated and the results shown that the ratio of sca / gca variance revealed that there was preponderance of non additive gene action in the expression of all the traits under study except for days to 50% tasseling and ear girth. Among thirty, three hybrids L2×T1, L1×T2 and L8×T3 showed significant positive standard heterosis over both EH434042 and 900M (Commercial checks). These hybrids can be further tested in large scale and can be released commercially or used as development crosses in developing the inbred lines.

Heterosis; Gene action; Maize (Zea mays L.)

Maize (Zea mays L.) is the third most important crop among the cereal crops grown in India. Maize grain is gaining popularity in our country due to huge demand, particularly for poultry feed industry. Besides, maize has diversified uses as food and industrial raw materials. Maize acreage and production have an increasing tendency with the introduction of hybrids due to its high yield potential. The nature and magnitude of gene action is an important factor in developing an effective breeding programme. Combining ability analysis is useful to assess the potential inbred lines and also helps in identifying the nature of gene action involved in various quantitative characters. This information is helpful to plant breeders for formulating hybrid breeding programmes. Efforts are therefore required to be made to develop hybrids with high yield potential in order to increase production of maize. A good number of inbreds developed recently is available at the All India Coordinated Research Project on Maize, ARS, Arabhavi. Most efficient use of such materials would be possible only when adequate information on the amount and type of genetic variation and combining ability effects in the materials is available. A wide array of biometrical tools is available to breeders for characterizing genetic control of economically important traits as a guide to decide upon an appropriate breeding methodology to involve in hybrid breeding. The present investigation was carried out to determine breeding value of genotypes, nature and magnitude of gene action and heterosis for various yield and other important traits in maize (Zea mays L.). Line x tester mating design developed by Kempthorne (1957), which provides reliable information on the general and specific combining ability effects of parents and their hybrid combinations was used to generate the information. The design has been widely used in maize by several workers and continues to be applied in quantitative genetic studies in maize (Joshi et al., 1998).

Thus, the objective of the present investigation was to unravel the genetics and to estimate heterosis for grain yield and other important traits.
Estimates of gene actions
The variances (s2GCA,s 2 SCA, s2A and s2D) and ratios (s2GCA/s2 SCA, s2A/s2D) are presented in Table 1. The analysis of variance revealed highest magnitude of SCA than GCA for all characters except for days to 50 per cent tasseling, days to 50 per cent silking and ear girth and the ratio of GCA to the SCA variance for all the traits was less than unity except for days to 50% tasseling and ear girth. The analysis of variance revealed highest magnitude of dominance for all traits except for days to 50 per cent tasseling and ear girth, they exhibited highest magnitude of additive gene action. The ratio of additive to dominance was lesser than unity for all characters except 50% tasseling and ear girth.

Table 1 Estimates of variance components as reference to the prevailing gene action for 13 characters

Heterosis Estimates of the promising hybrids for Grain yield per hectare
The extent of heterosis for grain yield per hectare was observed from -28.57 (L6×T1) to 7.28 (L2×T1) per cent over EH-434042, -28.04 (L6×T1) to 8.07 (L2×T1) per cent over 900M and -30.14 (L6 ×T1) to 4.92 (L2×T1) per cent over Pinnacle, respectively (Table 2). All the experimental hybrids exhibited significant positive heterosis over mid parent and the hybrid L2×T1 (152.65%) had highest mid parent positive heterosis followed by L4×T1 (148.20%). Twenty six hybrids expressed significant positive heterosis over better parent, out of which the hybrid, L2×T1 (149.81%) had exhibited highest positive hetero- beltiosis, followed by L7×T1 hybrid (136.24%). Among 30 hybrids, three hybrids showed significant positive standard heterosis over both EH434042 and 900M and they were, L2×T1 (7.28 per cent over EH434042 and 8.07 per cent over 900M), L1×T2 (6.86 per cent over EH434042 and 7.64 per cent over 900M) and L×T3 (3.16% EH434042 and 3.92% over 900M).

Table 2 Per cent relative heterosis (RH), heterobeltiosis (HB) and standard heterosis (SH) for grain yield/ha characters
The studies revealed higher SCA variance than GCA variance and thus the GCA/SCA variance ratio was lower than one, indicating the importance of SCA variance than GCA variance. These results are in line with findings of Paul and Duara (1991) and Sedhom (1994), Mohammad (1993) and Satyanarayanaet al (1994). For grain yield per hectare (t/ha) among 30 hybrids, two crosses, L1×T2 and L2×T1 showed significant highest positive heterosis over all the three checks, EH434042, 900M and Pinnacle (best check). Such results were also reported by Jha and Khehra (1992) and Larish and Brewbaker (1999), which supports our investigation.
Materials and Methods
The present investigation was carried out at All India Co-ordinated Maize Improvement Project, Agricultural Research Station, Arabhavi during the year 2011 (kharif) and 2011-2012 (rabi). The parents used in the experiment comprised of ten lines selected from newly derived 79 inbred lines of tropical origin which were available in All India Co-ordinated Maize Improvement Project, based on their per se performance. These lines were used as female lines and crossed with three tester’s viz., KDMI-10, KDMI-16 and CI-5. All the thirty F1 hybrids along with their parental lines were grown in the following growing season. Trials were irrigated throughout the growing season and cultural operations, fertilization, and weed control were accomplished according to normal field practices. The experiment was replicated twice in a randomized complete block design. The experimental unit was two rows for each entry, 4 m long and 75 cm apart, with plant to plant distance of 20 cm. The observations were recorded from five plants randomly selected from each plot for 13 quantitative traits viz., days to 50% tasseling, days to 50% silking, plant height, ear height, days to 75% brown husk maturity, ear length, ear girth, number of kernel rows per cob, number of kernels per row, 100-grain weight, grain yield per hectare, shelling percentage and fodder yield per hectare.
Author Contribution
Conceived and designed the experiments:Udaykumar Kage and M C Wali. Performed the experiments: Udaykumar Kage. Analysed the data: Udaykumar and M C Wali. Edited and given final touch up to the manuscript: Deepa Madalageri, Prakash Gangashetty and Prakash Natikar.
Jha P. B., and Khera A. S., 1992, Evaluation of maize inbred lines derived from two heterotic populations, Indian J. Genet. Plant Breed., 52(2) : 126-131
Joshi V. N., Pandiya N. K., and Dubey R. B., 1998, Heterosis and combining ability for quality and yield in early maturing single cross hybrids of maize (Zea mays L.), Indian J. Genet. Plant Breed., 58(4) : 519-524
Kempthorne O., 1957, An introduction to genetic statistics, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Larish L.L.B., and Brewbaker J.L., 1999, Diallel analyses of temperature and tropical popcorns. Maydica, 44(4): 279-284
Mohammed A.A., 1993, Effect of nitrogen fertilization levels on the performance and combining ability of maize hybrids (Zea mays L.), Ann. Agric. Sci., 38(2): 531-549
Paul S.K. and Duara P.K., 1991, Combining ability for yield and maturity in maize (Zea mays L.), International J. Trop. Agri., 9(4): 205-254
Satyanarayana E., Kumar R.S. and Sharma M.Y., 1994, Inheritance studies of maturity components and yield in selected hybrids of maize (Zea mays L.), Mysore J. Agril. Sci., 28(1): 25-30

Sedhom S.A., 1994, Estimation of general and specific combining ability in maize under different planting dates, Ann. Agri. Sci., 28(1): 25-30

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