Prediction and validation of double cross hybrids in maize (Zea mays L.)
The experiment comprised of six F1’s, which were selected based on the combinations of low yield × high yield and low ASI × high ASI. The selected six F1’s were crossed in full diallel mating design to synthesise 16 double crosses was estimated and validated on the basis of performance of their constituent single crosses. Out of 16 hybrids, DCH 15 recorded lower tasseling and silking days and hence it can be used further in breeding programme. While, DCH 13 recorded narrow mean for ASI are suggested for use in deriving superior inbred lines with a combination of narrow ASI and higher ear circumference and kernel rows ear-1.The expected yield performance of DCH 5 (125.88), DCH 8 (124.23), DCH 10 (123.96), DCH 15 (123.73), DCH 6 (122.77) and DCH 12 (120.76) out yielded best check, Hema (119.00) for grain yield plant-1respectively. DCH 12 predicted better for most of the characters viz., ASI, ear length, ear circumference, kernel rows-1 and 100 grain weight. While, DCH 15 predicted better for characters viz., days to tasseling, days to silking, plant height (cm), ear height (cm), kernels row-1 and shelling percentage. Therefore, these two crosses may be used as double cross hybrids for breeding programme. In both prediction methods, nearly 14 out of 16 double cross hybrids manifested significant differences between realised and predicted performance suggesting involvement of epistasis in genetic control of grain yield plant-1
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