This study aimed to improve grain yield in the full-sib reciprocal recurrent selection program of maize from the North Fluminense State University. In the current phase of the program, the goal is to maintain, or even increase, the genetic variability within and among populations, in order to increase heterosis of the 13th cycle of reciprocal recurrent selection. Microsatellite expressed sequence tags (EST-SSRs) were used as a tool to assist the maximization step of genetic variability, targeting the functional genome.
In this study, we analyzed heterosis, amylase enzyme gene expression, and the physiological quality of maize seeds with different genotypes and sizes, which were subjected to aging and not subjected to aging. We used seeds from 2 maize lines that differed with regard to physiological quality, the hybrid, and the reciprocal hybrid; they were classified into 2 sizes and were subjected to aging and not subjected to aging. Physiological quality was assessed by performing tests for germination, emergence, emergence speed index, and artificial aging.