, Volume 207, Issue 2, pp 353–365 | Cite as

Genotype by environment interactions and agronomic performance of doubled haploids testcross maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids

  • Julius Pyton Sserumaga
  • Sylvester O. Oikeh
  • Stephen Mugo
  • Godfrey Asea
  • Michael Otim
  • Yoseph Beyene
  • Grace Abalo
  • Joseph Kikafunda


In vivo production of maternal haploid plants and advancement in chromosome doubling technology has led to rapid production of doubled haploid homozygous lines. These in turn have boosted rapid advancement in most breeding programs. This has resulted in production of a large number of maize hybrids which need testing across production environments to select the most suitable hybrids for release and cultivation. The objective of this study was to assess the genotype × environment interactions (GE) for grain yield and other agronomic traits and evaluate the performance of 44 recently developed doubled haploids (DH) testcross hybrids along with six checks across five locations in Uganda. Significant mean squares for environment (E), genotype (G) and GE were observed for all studied traits. Environment explained 46.5 % of the total variance, while G and GE contributed 13.2 and 7.2 %, respectively. Genetic correlations among locations were high (0.999), suggesting little GE among environments. The 10 best testcross hybrids had a 49.2 % average grain yield advantage over the six checks at all locations. DH hybrids CKHDHH0887, CKDHH0878, CKDHH0859, WM1210, CKDHH0858, and WM1214 were the most stable, across locations. The DH testcross hybrids produced higher grain yield and possessed acceptable agronomic traits compared to the commercial hybrids developed earlier. Use of the best DH testcross hybrids, well targeted to the production environments, could boost maize production among farmers.


Doubled haploids East Africa Genotype × environment Grain yield Maize Stability 



This research was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates and the Howard G. Buffet Foundations, and the United States Agency for International Development through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project. We appreciate all the Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institutes (ZARDI) and Mobuku Irrigation Scheme for making their facilities available for this study. We thank Dr. Dan Makumbi for helpful comments and suggestions on the manuscript. We also appreciate the constructive comments of anonymous reviewers, who helped to improve the manuscript. Also the authors would like to thank Ochen Stephen, Solomon Kaboyo, Annet Nakayima, Majid Walusimbi, Moses Ebellu, Late Stephen Okanya, Fred Ssemazzi and Jane Alupo for data collection at the various experimental sites.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (xls 123 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (xls 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015
corrected publication September 2018

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julius Pyton Sserumaga
    • 1
  • Sylvester O. Oikeh
    • 2
  • Stephen Mugo
    • 3
  • Godfrey Asea
    • 1
  • Michael Otim
    • 1
  • Yoseph Beyene
    • 3
  • Grace Abalo
    • 1
  • Joseph Kikafunda
    • 1
  1. 1.Cereals ProgramNational Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)KampalaUganda
  2. 2.African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)NairobiKenya
  3. 3.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), ICRAF HouseNairobiKenya

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