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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 19 No. 6, p. 847-852
    Received: Mar 19, 1979

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Inheritance of Several Cold Tolerance Traits in Corn1

  1. R. L. McConnell and
  2. C. O. Gardner2



To learn more about early season growth of corn (Zea mays L.), generation means analyses were used to study inheritance of germination at 7.2 C in the laboratory, and emergence, juvenile growth, and yield in the field. Six inbred parents, their 15 F1 hybrids, their 15 F2, and their 30 backcross populations were used in the analyses. The inbreds were classified into warm (W) and cool (C) season groups based upon their reaction to cold and heat stress in previous experiments.

For the specific group of parents evaluated, generation means analyses indicated that epistatic gene effects as well as additive and dominance gene effects contributed significantly to the variation observed for germination at 7.2 C in the laboratory and for emergence measured in the field. Seedling vigor or growth after emergence in the field appeared to be conditioned predominantly by additive and dominance gene effects. Although some epistatic gene effects were detected, grain yield in the specific group of parents studied was controlled by additive and dominance gene effects.

Contrary to expectations, C ✕ C crosses were no better than W ✕ W or C ✕ W crosses for the cold tolerance traits studied. Percent germination and field emergence data favored W ✕ W crosses, while C ✕ C crosses were slightly better for early season vigor. W ✕ W crosses produced the highest grain yield followed by C ✕ W and C ✕ C crosses.

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