Indirect Inbred Selection to Reduce Grain Moisture in Maize Hybrids
To select indirectly for low grain moisture in maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids, divergent lines were selected from two S2 populations on the basis of three morphological traits (date of husk senescence, husk length, and kernel number) that previously had been shown to be associated with faster drying rates in hybrids. Divergent lines were also selected on the basis of silking date. Nine hybrids for each selection classification were formed by crossing three selected S2 lines from one population with three inbreds, selected on the basis of the same criterion, from the second population. Field evaluation of the hybrids indicated that selection for early husk senescence in the inbreds decreased grain moisture by 27 g kg−1', hastened physiological maturity, and increased lodging in the associated hybrids. Selection for early husk senescence did not affect yield. Selection for the other three traits had no significant effect on grain moisture at harvest. Our results suggest that selection of early husk senescence in inbreds would result in hybrids with lower grain moisture and that evaluation of husk senescence may be useful in monitoring maturity in maize.
Copyright © 1994.