Gene action and combining ability analysis for kernel yield and its attributing traits in maize [Zea mays (L.)]
Combining ability estimates were studied for kernel yield, its components and morphological traits in nine maize parents and 36 F1 hybrids generated from cross in half diallel mating design. Analysis of variance for combining ability revealed that mean sum of squares due to general combining ability were found significant for all the traits except cob length and cob girth, whereas, the specific combining ability effects were found highly significant for all the characters except cob length, cob girth and anthesis - silking interval. Based on estimates of general combining ability, two parents viz., WNC 40228 (6.17) and WNC 31702 (5.47) were found as good general combiners because they registered significant and positive gca effects. The estimates of sca effects revealed that 13 hybrids were exhibited significant positive sca effects. The top most three hybrids for kernel yield per plant on the basis of specific combining ability effects were Z 485-50 x Z 485-11 (22.77), WNC 40228 x BLD - 105 (20.13) and WNC 40228 x Z 485-11 (17.47). The low ratio (<1.0) of GCA to SCA variance for fourteen traits indicated that non-additive type of gene action was predominant in the expression of yield and component traits.
Keywords: Maize, geneal combining ability, specific combining ability, hybrid, kernel yield
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