Studies of genetic effects of early selection of maize based on seed quality traits are rare, especially those that use materials from different heterotic groups. These studies are also useful in tropical environments and for the advancement of sustainable agriculture with cropping during seasons not commonly used for cultivation.
Zea mays L.
We examined the effect of incorporation of molecular markers on variability between and within populations in order to maximize heterotic effects and longevity of a maize reciprocal recurrent selection program. Molecular variability was quantified by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers between and within the maize populations Cimmyt and Piranão in the 10th cycle of a reciprocal recurrent selection program. Forty-two S1 progenies of each population were analyzed, these being families of full-sibs selected according to their agronomic traits.
With the aim of estimating genetic parameters and identifying superior popcorn combinations, 10 parents were crossed in a circulant diallel and evaluated together with the 15 resulting hybrids at two locations in two growing seasons for grain yield, number of broken plants, number of partially husked ears and popping expansion. The hybrids were less sensitive to environmental variations than the parents of the diallel in the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 growing seasons. The genetic parameters suggested possible genetic gains for grain yield and popping expansion, mainly.