Inbreeding depression and performance of partially self-fertilized maize progenies in a top cross
Candido,Willame dos S.
Reis,Edésio F. dos
ABSTRACT Information on the effect of endogamy and combining ability of inbred families is essential in hybrid maize (Zea mays L.) breeding programs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of inbreeding in a maize population and the performance of top-cross hybrids from this population, with a broad genetic base tester. First, 110 S1 families were generated and established in the field along with families from the original population. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design with three replicates, in 3.0 m plots with 15 plants. Traits of agronomic importance, inbreeding depression, and the general effect of dominance deviations were estimated the first stage. In the second stage, 69 inbred families (S2) with low inbreeding depression were evaluated by top-cross tests using the F2 generation of the commercial hybrid AG 6040 as tester. The same traits from the first stage were evaluated. Inbreeding depression in the first stage was higher for traits related to production, which indicates that the heterozygous loci contribute more to these traits, with the additive effects being less important. In the second stage, the best estimates of the general combining ability (GCA) for grain weight were found in progenies 51, 33, 17, 9, 3, and 67, showing good performance and good potential for use in breeding programs.