Studies on genetic variability in maize (Zea mays L.) under stress and non-stress environmental conditions

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Research Paper 01/07/2015
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Studies on genetic variability in maize (Zea mays L.) under stress and non-stress environmental conditions

U.U. Umar, S.G. Ado, D.A. Aba, S.M. Bugaje
Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.7( 1), 70-77, July 2015.
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Studies were carried out to estimate the extent of genetic variability in fifty six maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes (6 drought tolerant inbred lines, 7 other inbred lines, 42 crosses and a check) under non-stress and water stress at flowering. The genotypes were evaluated in 2012/2013 dry season across two locations, to obtain more information on their genetic and morphological diversity. The experimental design used was simple lattice design with two replications under each condition. Significant mean squares were obtained for the seven traits measured under non-stress and water stress in the combined analysis across locations. Differences observed in means of most traits studied were high. The highest mean value of 5877.80 kg/ha was produced the hybrid S3 x P2 for grain yield under non-stress across location while under water stress the hybrid S7 x P8 had maximum grain yield of 5877.80 kg/ha. The effect of drought stress on morphological traits was drastic and it significantly reduced the expression of most traits. Overall, plant height, ear height, number of ears per plant and grain yield were reduced by 15 %, 20 %, 28 % and 70 %, respectively, whereas, days to 50 % tasseling, days to 50 % silking and anthesis-silking interval increased by 5 %, 6 % and 33 %, respectively, under water stress. These findings will be useful in planning breeding programmes to develop improved maize varieties, synthetics and hybrids tolerant to drought for use by farmers and industries.


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