Evaluation of Heterotic Patterns among Caribbean and Tropical ✕ Temperate Maize Populations
- L. M. Pollak ,
- S. Torres-Cardona and
- A. Sotomayor-Rios
The integration of tropical maize (Zea mays L.) germplasm into template breeding programs has been difficult and slow. More information on performance of temperate ✕ tropical populations and their heterotic combinations is needed. This study was conducted to compare heterotic patterns among four populations. Two, a Caribbean flint and a Caribbean dent, are useful in the tropics and have potential for temperate areas; the other two are temperate ✕ tropical populations adapted to the tropics. The four populations, their diallel crosses and reciprocals, and a commercial hybrid check were grown in two locations in Puerto Rico during two winter-season environments. The best heterotic combination among the four populations was between the Caribbean flint and dent. The best-yielding population per se was the temperate ✕ tropical population of Reid (Group B) heterotic pattern. The Caribbean flint population had highly significant negative maternal effects for yield. Both reciprocal crosses of the temperate ✕ tropical populations were low yielding. The results indicated that, for temperature breeding programs, both Caribbean populations should be useful for improving Corn Belt maize.
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