Twenty one F1s produced from 7x7 diallel mating along with the 7 parents were evaluated to notice the inheritance and combining ability of different traits to obtain high heterotic crosses. Genetic analysis and combing ability were analyzed following Hayman’s and Griffing’s diallel analyses, respectively. Hybrids projecting positive or negative potency ratio with >1.0 value for those traits is also the sign of incidence of over-dominance in desirable direction, and heterosis breeding is important to improve those traits in maize. Hayman’s approach indicated dominance variance and the proportion of +/- genes was higher than additive variance in all characters. Griffing’s analysis also demonstrated the presence of over-dominance governing the traits. The preponderance of dominant gene action coupled with low heritability observed for days to silking, ear length and grain yield suggests the importance of heterosis breeding. Substantial differences in general combing ability and specific combining ability were noticed in all the studied traits except 1000-grain weight. The parental line CML-509 was found to be the best general combiner for days to tasseling and silking, CML-498 for plant height, ear height and grain yield, CML-395 for ear length and grain yield. The crosses CML-498×CML-376, CML-498×CML-395 and CML-376×CML-247 showed significant positive specific combining ability effect for grain yield along with higher mean values over commercial check varieties.
Key words: Inheritance, combining ability, diallel mating, maize.
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