Diallel analysis of rind puncture and grain yield and their interactions with plant densities for twelve elite inbred lines of maize, Zea mays L
To better understand the genetics of stalk quality in elite Corn Belt germplasm, combining ability estimates for stalk quality as measured by rind puncture were obtained for twelve inbred lines of maize representing elite Corn Belt germplasm. Secondly, an attempt was made to assess the practical utility of the rind penetrometer as a tool to measure stalk quality in an applied maize breeding program.
The twelve inbred lines of maize were crossed in a diallel manner to produce the 66 F₁ single cross hybrids. Hybrids were hand planted in single-row plots with three replications at Holland, Virginia on 10 April and 15 and 16 April, 1981 and 1982, respectively. Plots were comprised of four split-plots corresponding to planting densities of 39,536, 49,420, 59,304 and 69,188 plants per hectare. Rind puncture data were collected from five competitive plants in each density for each hybrid at midsi lk and two to three weeks later. Data were also collected on percent erect plants, stalk pinch values, and grain yield. Analyses of variance were performed on the means for each hybrid-density combination for all traits. Model I, Method 4 of Griffing (1956) was followed to obtain estimates of GCA and SCA effects.
Highly significant differences were detected among hybrids and densities for rind puncture and grain yield in both years. Significant differences were also detected among hybrids for percent erect plants and stalk pinch value, although no significant difference among densities was evident. No significant difference was detected between dates of measurement for rind puncture. nents were highly significant for all GCA and SCA compotraits. Hybrid by density interaction was significant for grain yield and percent erect plants but not for rind puncture or stalk pinch. Hybrid by date interaction for rind puncture was highly significant in 1982 only.
Considerable additive genetic variation associated with GCA was detected for rind strength as measured by rind puncture in elite Corn Belt germplasm. The rind penetrometer appears to be a useful tool to aid the breeder in identifying genotypes with superior rind strength, which in turn is a component of total stalk strength.