Research Article

Analysis of genetic traits for drought tolerance in maize

Published: October 28, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 13545-13565 DOI: 10.4238/2015.October.28.15

Abstract

Fifty-four genotypes of maize were crossed and evaluated in the field during the crop season in February 2012 under both normal and water stress conditions. To identify the major parameters responsible for variation among genotypes, single linkage cluster analysis and principle component analysis (PCA) were carried out. Thirteen characters were studied. The PCA showed that the first six components, with eigen values >1, contributed 82.30% of the variability among the genotypes under normal field irrigation conditions while other PCs (7-13) had eigen values less than 1. Under drought conditions, the first four PCs, with eigen values >1, contributed 64.79% of the variability among genotypes while the other PCs (5-13) had eigen values less than 1. In the absence of water stress, heritability ranged from 68% (sucrose content) to 99% (plant height) and genetic advance ranged between 158.43% for stomatal frequency and 0.87 for biological yield. Under drought conditions, the coefficient of variability (CV) was 1.43-7.79, whereas estimates of heritability ranged between 68% and 99% for sucrose content and leaf area, respectively. The values of genetic advance ranged between 153.41 for stomatal frequency and 0.47 for nitrogen content. CV was 1.52-7.38 under drought conditions. The results indicated that the plant characters studied were under the control of additive genetic effects and suggested that selection should lead to fast genetic improvements. Clusters with superior agronomic types were identified and could be exploited for the transfer of desirable genes to improve the yield potential of the maize crop.

Fifty-four genotypes of maize were crossed and evaluated in the field during the crop season in February 2012 under both normal and water stress conditions. To identify the major parameters responsible for variation among genotypes, single linkage cluster analysis and principle component analysis (PCA) were carried out. Thirteen characters were studied. The PCA showed that the first six components, with eigen values >1, contributed 82.30% of the variability among the genotypes under normal field irrigation conditions while other PCs (7-13) had eigen values less than 1. Under drought conditions, the first four PCs, with eigen values >1, contributed 64.79% of the variability among genotypes while the other PCs (5-13) had eigen values less than 1. In the absence of water stress, heritability ranged from 68% (sucrose content) to 99% (plant height) and genetic advance ranged between 158.43% for stomatal frequency and 0.87 for biological yield. Under drought conditions, the coefficient of variability (CV) was 1.43-7.79, whereas estimates of heritability ranged between 68% and 99% for sucrose content and leaf area, respectively. The values of genetic advance ranged between 153.41 for stomatal frequency and 0.47 for nitrogen content. CV was 1.52-7.38 under drought conditions. The results indicated that the plant characters studied were under the control of additive genetic effects and suggested that selection should lead to fast genetic improvements. Clusters with superior agronomic types were identified and could be exploited for the transfer of desirable genes to improve the yield potential of the maize crop.