Maize is an important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa but production is adversely affected by maize streak virus disease (MSVD). In Ghana, re-occurrence of the disease has been reported in several regions, therefore, necessitating the development of resistant hybrids as the most sustainable and economical option. The objectives of the study were to identify parents and hybrids that combine MSVD resistance with high yield and determine the influence of maternal effect on the inheritance of MSVD resistance. To achieve these, five parental inbred lines namely: TZEI-4, TZEI-7, TZEI-22, TZEI-31 and TZEI-157 were crossed in a full diallel mating design during the major season of 2015. The resulting F1 hybrids were evaluated under natural and artificial infestations during the minor and major seasons of 2015/2016 using 9 x 3 alpha-lattice design with three replications. General combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) mean squares were significant for MSVD severity mean score and only SCA for grain yield. Additive gene effect was preponderant for MSVD severity mean score, whereas grain yield was influenced by non-additive gene effect. Maternal effect had no significant contribution to the inheritance of MSVD resistance. GCA by environment and SCA by environment mean squares were significant for MSVD severity mean score. GCA effects revealed that inbreds TZEI-7 and TZEI-22 were resistant to MSVD. They could be good combiners for grain yield in addition to TZEI-31 and TZEI-157. Hybrids TZEI-4*TZEI-22 and TZEI-4*TZEI-31 showed resistance to MSVD as revealed by their SCA effects and heterotic values. TZEI-7*TZEI-157, TZEI-31*TZEI-157, TZEI-22*TZEI-157 and TZEI-4*TZEI-22 had positive and significant SCA effect, mid-parent heterosis and high parent heterosis for grain yield. Promising hybrids TZEI-4*TZEI-22, TZEI-22*TZEI-157, TZEI-7*TZEI-157 and TZEI-31*TZEI-157 identified in this study should be further tested in multi-locations across Ghana to determine their stability and adaptability.
Key words: Maize streak virus disease, grain yield, resistance, full diallel, general combining ability, specific combining ability.
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