Evaluation of Maize Populations as Sources of Favorable Alleles
- J. W. Dudley
Choice of populations to use in improving elite maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids is a critical decision in maize breeding programs. Nineteen maize populations were evaluated for their potential as sources of alleles to improve the hybrid FRB73 × FRMo17 for grain yield, ear height, flowering date, stalk lodging, and root lodging. The populations BS11(FR)C7, BSCB1(R)C10, RBS10(R)C2, JF10 × BS13(S1)C2, Caribbean flint-dean, BSTL(S2)C4, IF10, and RSSSC had a significant number of dominant favorite alleles for grain yield not present in FRB73 × FRMo17. Because dominance was for unfavorable alleles for root and stalk lodging, frequencies of favorable recessives not present in one of the parents were used to measure the value of populations as sources to improve the hybrid. Of the eight populations with significant numbers of favorabe alleles for grain yield, only IF10 had a significant frequency of unfavorable dominant alleles for root lodging and all eight had a significant frequency of favorable recessives. None of the populations had a significant number of favorable alleles for stalk lodging resistance. The classification of relationships of populations to FRB73 or FRMo17 based on grain yield data agreed with pedigree information. Populations also were evaluated for their value as direct sources of new inbreds to use in combination with FRB73 or FRMo17. Of the populations tested, BS11(FR)C7 and BSCB1(R)C10 were most valuable either for improving parents of a hybrid or as direct sources of lines. Both populations had previously undergone recurrent selection for combining ability for grain yield in the central Corn Belt.
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