Evaluating Adaptability and Genetic Variability of Improved Maize Varieties
Maize is one of the most important cereals broadly adapted worldwide. Though, a number of improved maize varieties have been released, each micro-environment has not been touched that is why the study carried out. The experiment was conducted using seven maize varieties in RCB design with three replications. The analysis of variance signifies the presence of significant difference (p<0.05) among the seven maize varieties evaluated. High value of genetic (GCV) and phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) for grain yield (25.1 and 37.8%) were estimated and this infers less influence of environment. Additionally, moderately high heritability (44.2%) and high genetic advance in percent mean (34.4%) were estimated for grain yield which indicate the trait governed by additive gene action and could be improved via selection based on phenotypic performance. However, traits (male and female flower) with high heritability and moderate genetic advance in percent mean inherited mostly by non-additive gene action and heterosis breeding could be useful. Regarding agronomic performance, Hora maize variety provided highest grain yield (5.0 t/ha) followed by Kuleni (4.1 t/ha), Melkasa 2 (4.0 t/ha) and check (4.0 t/ha). Hora, Melkasa 2, Melkasa 4 and check flowered earlier as compared to the other and could be used as parent for generating early flowering varieties. In summary, Hora maize variety was better performing both statistically and in eyes of farmers and need seed multiplication and distribution to farming community. Moreover, the variability observed among the maize varieties could be utilizing in future breeding activities.
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