Selection for Rind Puncture Resistance in Two Maize Populations
Because stalk lodging is an important problem in maize (Zea mays L.) production, improved methods of breeding for stalk lodging resistance are important. The objective of research reported in this paper was to determine the influence of six cycles of selection for rind puncture resistance, measured just prior to anthesis, on postanthesis rind puncture resistance, grain yield, grain moisture, and stalk rot reaction in two maize synthetics, RSL(MPEN) and RSSSC(MPEN), which represent two different heterotic groups. Response to selection was measured in the populations, per se, testcrosses of each cycle of each population to an appropriate inbred tester, and in crosses between cycles of the two synthetics. In all cases, selection significantly increased postanthesis rind puncture resistance. Stalk lodging was significantly reduced for all cases except RSL(MPEN) per se. Stalk rot incidence was significantly reduced in RSSSC(MPEN) per se. Few adverse effects were noted for other traits. Measuring rind puncture resistance just before pollination allowed effective improvement in stalk lodging resistance using a selection scheme which requires only one generation per cycle.
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