Effects of Low Nitrogen and Drought on Genetic Parameters of Grain Yield and Endosperm Hardness of Quality Protein Maize
Githiri, S. M.
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The aim of this study was to assess how low nitrogen and drought stresses affect genetic parameters of grain yield and endosperm hardness of QPM. Twelve inbred lines were acquired from CIMMYT and used to generate 36 single cross hybrids with North Carolina Design II procedures. The single crosses were evaluated at Kiboko in Kenya and Rubona in Rwanda in 2005 and 2006 cropping seasons under optimum, low nitrogen and drought conditions. Observations were performed on grain yield and endosperm hardness. The results showed that gene action on the grain yield was predominantly non-additive and maternal, whereas that of the endosperm hardness was predominantly additive and maternal. Low nitrogen and drought changed the proportions of different genetic effects. They changed as well the magnitudes and direction of General Combining Abilities (GCAs) of lines and Specific Combining Abilities (SCAs) of crosses. It was possible to have together, significant and positive SCAs for grain yield and significant and negative SCAs for endosperm hardness. Crosses with significant and positive SCAs for grain yield and significant and negative SCAs for endosperm hardness are candidates to use in QPM production, especially in drought and low nitrogen prone areas.