Maize is one of the economic crops of global importance. Protection of Plant varieties and Farmers Right Act (2001) insists on Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) characterization of extant, farmers and new varieties and recommends the registration of varieties for any one specific novel character. Studies initiated to develop morphological characters in seventeen inbreds including 16 domestic inbreds (UMI 1200, UMI 285, UMI 61, UMI 395, UMI 936(O), UMI 936(W), UMI 176, UMI 80, UMI 112, UMI 551, UMI 190, UMI 136, UMI 101, UMI 69, UMI 1230, UMI 178) of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and one exotic inbred (CIM Entry 10527) of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). As per DUS guidelines revealed that, inbreds vary widely in their characters. The results revealed that, among the 17 inbreds, UMI 1200 and UMI 1230 were distinct from other inbreds and UMI 551 had the distinguishable character of tassel anthocyanin colouration at glume base. Dendrograms were constructed based on the morphological characters that established differences among the individuals indicating reportable variation among the 17 maize inbreds which would aid in selection of inbreds with desirable characters for further breeding programme.
Key words: Plant variety protection, morphological markers, selection of inbreds.
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