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Crop Science Abstract -

Inheritance of Tolerance to Soil Acidity in Tropical Maize


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 50-54
    Received: Apr 9, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. Vargas-Duque,
  2. S. Pandey ,
  3. G. Granados,
  4. H. Ceballos and
  5. E. Knapp
  1. CIMMYT, Apdo. Aéreo 6713, Cali, Colombia
    CIMMYT, P.O. Box 9-188, Bangkok 10900, Thailand



Soil acidity reduces maize (Zea mays L.) yields on ≈8 million hectares of tropical soils. Maize cultivars with tolerance to soil acidity can alleviate this problem in developing countries. We used a North Carolina Design I mating system to study the inheritance of tolerance to soil acidity in a tropical maize population, SA-3, in order to efficiently develop maize cultivars tolerant to acidic soils. We studied 256 full-sib progenies, involving 64 males and four females within each male, that were grouped in eight sets and field planted using two replications under one normal and three acidic soil environments during 1990–1991 in Colombia. Across acidic soils, additive genetic variance (VA) was similar to dominance variance (VD) for grain yield (0.15 vs. 0.13) greater than VD for plant height (47.97 vs. 6.83) and ears per plant (0.01 vs. 0.00), and less than VD for days to silk (1.26 vs. 2.98). Heritability, estimated using half-sib family means, averaged 36.3 ± 19.9% for yield, 30.9 ± 19.8% for days to silk, 51.5 ± 19.3% for plant height, and 40.5 ± 19.8% for ears per plant. Additive × environment interaction was the more important component of genetic variance for all traits studied. Although grain yield showed a positive additive genetic correlation (rA = 0.84**) with ears per plant, direct selection for yield was more effective for improving yield under acidic soils. The magnitudes of additive and additive × environmental variances and of rAs among the environments suggest that recurrent selection, based on multilocation testing, would be effective in improving grain yield, days to silk, plant height, and ears per plant under acidic soils.

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