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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 29 No. 6, p. 1377-1381
    Received: Oct 6, 1988

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Evaluation of F2 ✕ F2 and BC1 ✕ BC1 Maize Interpopulation Crosses

  1. Rex Bernardo,
  2. G. R. Johnson,
  3. J. W. Dudley  and
  4. M. R. Meghji
  1. L ifaco Corp., Rt. 1, Box 232A, Champaign, IL 61821-6055
    D eKalb-Pfizer Genetics, Rt 1, Box 162, Thomasboro, IL 61878
    D ep. of Agronomy, Univ of Illinois, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
    F unk Seeds Int., Box 69, Rochelle, IL 61068



Further improvement in the performance of elite maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids is an important objective of maize breeding programs. Introgression of broadbase germplasm to improve the elite single cross B73 ✕ Mo17H was considered. Estimates of genetic parameters in a [B73 ✕ B Composite]F2 ✕ [Mo17H ✕ A Composite]F2 Design 2 population and a [B73(B73 ✕ B Composite)]BC1 ✕ [Mo17H(Mo17H ✕ A Composite)]BC1 Design 2 population were obtained. Proportion of broadbase germplasm had a linear effect on means with the order of performance (most favorable to least favorable) for all traits being B73 ✕ Mo17H, the BC1 interpopulation cross, the F2 interpopulation cross, and A Composite ✕ B Composite. Estimates of half-sib covariances (CovHS) and specific combining ability variance (VarSCA) for grain moisture and plant and ear heights were greater in the F2 than in the BC1 interpopulation cross as expected for a one-locus, two-allele genetic model. Contrary to expectations, estimates for grain yield of CovHS in the population related to B73 and of VarSCA were two and four times greater, respectively, in the BC1 than in the F2. The large estimates of CovHS and VarSCA for grain yield in the BCt interpopulation cross were consistent with expectations for a model in which B73 and Mo17H are homozygous for an allele at a modifier locus, which causes complete dominance at a quantitative trait locus. Frequency of the modifier allele in the two composites would be near zero under this model. The VarSCA results suggested the use of backcross populations for selection procedures that exploit specific combining ability effects. Together with higher frequencies of BC1 ✕ BC1 testcrosses superior to B73 ✕ Mo17H, they indicated a higher probability for immediate derivation of superior single crosses from the BC1.

Contribution from the Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Illinois. Supported in part by funds from the Illinois Agric. Exp. Stn. and by a gift from DeKalb-Pfizer Genetics.

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