Comparison of graphical analyses for maize genetic experiments: Application of biplots and polar plot to line x tester design
Graphical techniques have become important tools to show results of maize (Zea mays L.) breeding experiments in current literature. The present study compared different graphical techniques to determine the best parental lines and cross combinations for yield and kernel quality traits in maize breeding experiments. We measured single plant yield, protein content, oil content, carotenoid content, oleic acid, and linoleic acid in a 5 x 2 line x tester design. Genotype + genotype x environment (GE) biplot, principal component analysis (PCA) biplot, and polar plot were used to analyze data and compare them with conventional line x tester analysis. In the conventional analysis, parents with high means and positive general combining ability (GCA) values were A680 and HYA for single plant yield, IHP for protein content, IHO and HYA for oil content, A680 and Q2 for carotenoid content, IHP for oleic acid content, and A680 for linoleic acid content. The B73 tester exhibited positive GCA values for most investigated traits. The HYA x B73 combination was the best cross in terms of single plant yield, protein, and oil contents. Results showed that biplot methods had both advantages and disadvantages. The PCA biplots can be used alone while the GGE biplot and polar plots are both useful for combining ability, heterosis, and gene action analysis in a line x tester design. Overall, graphical analysis results were very similar to conventional analysis. Consequently, it was assumed that the graphical methods used could be useful to analyze/present data from maize breeding experiments carried out with a line x tester design.