Short communications

An evaluation of two collections of South African maize (Zea mays L.) germ plasm: 1. The genetic basis of the synchronization of pollen shedding and silk emergence

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 21, issue 2, 2004 , pages: 117–119
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2004.10635034
Author(s): B. de JagerDepartment of Genetics,, C.Z. RouxDepartment of Genetics,, H.C. Kühn,

Abstract

Pollen shed-silking synchronization for a cultivar was measured by the interval between the dates on which 50% of the plants exhibited anthers and the dates on which 50% of the primary ears exhibited extruded silks. Under drought stress silking may be delayed, resulting in decreased pollination with reduced yield as a consequence. Therefore, selection for pollen shed-silking synchronization may be important to achieve yield stability under drought conditions. To investigate the possibility of breeding improvement, Model II combining ability analyses were performed on two diallels representing early and late flowering maize cultivars, respectively. Additive variance was found to be more important in pollen shed-silking synchronization than dominance, as previously found in foreign germ plasm. The estimated heritabilities indicate that synchronisation may be improved by selection.

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