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How Many Parents Give the Highest Yield in Predicted Synthetic and Composite Populations of Maize?


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 47 No. 5, p. 1905-1913
    Received: Dec 21, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): frank.kutka@ndsu.edu
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  1. F. J. Kutka *a and
  2. M. E. Smithb
  1. a Dickinson Research Extension Center, North Dakota State Univ., 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601
    b Dep. of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853


Some U.S. farmers are still interested in open-pollinated (OP) maize (Zea mays L.), but most varieties are low yielding. How would one develop high-yielding OP varieties, and what are their commercial prospects? To answer this question, we analyzed data from published diallel experiments using Wright's equation. There were seven diallels with inbreds and 14 with populations. The number of inbreds needed to form high yielding synthetics was on average from five to eight lines. The highest predicted yields for composites were on average with three to seven populations. The potential of synthetics and composites as OP varieties in the USA has not been fully examined, though these would probably not be economical for grain in the U.S. Corn Belt. However, their yields may show improvement over current OP varieties and they may be commercially viable in some limited circumstances.

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Copyright © 2007. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America