Stability Assessment of Single-Cross Maize Hybrids Using GGE-Biplot Analysis

  •  L. Musundire    
  •  J. Derera    
  •  S. Dari    
  •  A. Lagat    
  •  P. Tongoona    


Grain yield potential of new maize hybrid varieties across target environments contributes to the uptake of these varieties by farmers. Evaluation of single-cross hybrids developed from test crossing introgressed inbred lines bred for three distinct environments to elite tropical inbred line testers was carried out. The study’s objective was to assess grain yield stability and genotype adaptability of the single-cross hybrids across South African environments relative to adapted commercial hybrid checks. One hundred and twenty-two introgressed inbred lines developed using the pedigree breeding program were crossed to four tropical elite inbred line testers using line × tester mating design to obtain 488 experimental single cross hybrids. Subject to availability of adequate seed for evaluation, a panel of 444 experimental single-cross hybrids was evaluated using an augmented design in two experiments defined as Population A and B for the study’s convenience in South African environments. Data for grain yield (t/ha) performance for experimental single-cross hybrids and commercial check hybrids in Population A and B across environments and individual environments identified experimental single-cross hybrids that had significant comparable grain yield (t/ha) performance relative to best commercial check hybrid (PAN6Q445B) on the market. The selected experimental single-cross hybrids 225, 89, 246 and 43 (Population A) and 112 (Population B) also had a better average rank position for grain yield (t/ha) relative to best commercial check hybrid. These selected experimental single-cross hybrids had a grain yield (t/ha) advantage range of 0.9-6.7% for Population A and 7.3% for Population A and B, respectively, relative to the adapted commercial check hybrid. GGE biplot patterns for which won-where for Population A indicated that at Potchefstroom Research Station and Ukulinga Research Station experimental single-cross hybrids 127 and135 were the vertex (winning) hybrids. Cedera Research Station did not have a vertex hybrid for Population A. For Population B, experimental single-cross hybrids 112, 117 and 18 were the vertex hybrids at Cedera Research Station, Ukulinga Research Station and Potchefstroom Research Station, respectively. Experimental single-cross hybrid 257 was identified as ideal genotype for Population A, while experimental single-cross hybrid 121 in Population B was the ideal genotype. Ideal environments were also identified as Ukulinga Research Station for Population A, and Cedera Research Station for Population B. Average-environment coordination (AEC) view of the GGE biplot in Population A indicated that experimental single-cross hybrids 1 was highly stable across environments. In comparison, Population B experimental single-cross hybrid 161 was highly stable across environments. In conclusion, selected single-cross hybrids in the current study can also be advanced for further evaluation with a possibility for identifying high yielding and stable single-cross hybrids for variety registration and release in target environments in South Africa.

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