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Cytoplasmic effects on quantitative characters in maize (Zea mays L.)

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The investigations were carried out with ten genetically diverse maize varieties and all possible crosses between them, including reciprocals, at two agro-climatically different locations in Punjab (India). The materials were studied in a split-split plot design with plant population level of 59200, 74000 and 98700 plants per hectare. The variances due to reciprocal cross effects were significant for plant height, ear height and ear girth in the pooled analysis and the effects were quite consistent over plant population levels and locations. The data on days to silk were recorded only at one location and highly significant reciprocal effects were observed. The cytoplasmic effects, however, did not depend on the cytoplasm alone but also on the interaction of genotype with cytoplasm. The reciprocal effects were more distinct in early × late combinations of varieties than in early × early or late × late combinations. Early parents when used as female tended to reduce plant and ear height and days to silk, indicating a common developmental pathway for these three traits. Since the cytoplasmic effects for these characters were not associated with significant effects on yield, the results can be of practical significance. The cytoplasmic effects for days to silk were maintained even in the F2 and back-crosses. These findings encourage the use of particular cytoplasm in developing early maturing varieties.

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Communicated by R. Riley

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Khehra, A.S., Bhalla, S.K. Cytoplasmic effects on quantitative characters in maize (Zea mays L.). Theoret. Appl. Genetics 47, 271–274 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00281931

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  • Maize
  • Plant Height
  • Developmental Pathway
  • Reciprocal Effect
  • Quantitative Character