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      Evaluation of early-generation tropical maize testcrosses for grain-yield potential and weevil ( Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky) resistance


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          Smallholder maize farmers in Africa experience pre- and post-harvest production stresses either individually or in combination at different stages of the crop cycle. The maize weevil is among the major post-harvest storage pests. A strategy to address this problem is to develop and promote high yielding maize germplasm with resistance to multiple stresses. A study was conducted to: 1) assess yield and agronomic performance of testcross hybrids developed from early generation lines; and 2) assess the response of the testcross hybrids to infestation with Sitophilus zeamais. Fifty-eight drought-tolerant testcross hybrids were evaluated for agronomic performance and weevil resistance at four environments in Uganda in 2016. Hybrid G39 (L2/T2) had the best grain yield performance; it significantly out-performed the best check by 11.4% in all environments. Hybrid grain from field trials was subjected to Sitophilus zeamais infestation in a choice and no choice test under laboratory conditions. Hybrids G56 (L49/T2) and G58 (L51/T2) had the least weevil damage and were rated as resistant to Sitophilus zeamais. The numbers of damaged kernels, number of exit holes and ear aspect were positively correlated with the grain weight loss. The results suggest possibilities for simultaneous selection for high grain yield and storage insect pest resistance among drought-tolerant genotypes. Use of high-yielding and resistant maize hybrids to storage insect pest should be promoted for increased maize production and managing post-harvest losses due to the maize weevil in smallholder farming communities in Africa.


          • Currently there is no effective a single bullet strategy to address pre- and post-harvest production stresses due to insect damage in Africa.

          • Fifty eight drought-tolerant experimental testcrosses hybrids were evaluated for agronomic performance and weevil resistance.

          • Hybrids G56 (L49/T2) and G58 (L51/T2) had the least weevil damage and were rated as resistant to S. zeamais.

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          Most cited references65

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          Introduction to Quantitative Genetics

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            META-R: A software to analyze data from multi-environment plant breeding trials

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              Indirect selection for potential yield in early-generation, spaced plantings of wheat and other small-grain cereals: a review

              Early-generation (e.g. F2–F4) selection for grain yield itself is frustrated in particular by the small amounts of seed available. However, there has long been an interest in traits related to yield and reasonably faithfully expressed in spaced planting arrangements using little seed; these are potentially useful as indirect selection criteria for yield, with the view to increasing genetic progress per unit cost. This subject is revisited in this review, targeting potential yield (yield in the absence of abiotic and biotic stresses) of small-grain cereals. A brief assessment of current breeding systems for self-pollinated crops such as wheat reveals that all have some stage during which selection among visually acceptable spaced plants has to, or could, be practiced. The relative performance of different genotypes in such spaced plantings is then explored, highlighting interactions arising from intergenotypic competition as well as from the extra space itself. The theory of indirect selection is presented, along with some practical examples. After a brief survey of possible selection traits and developments in high-throughput measurement, harvest index, fruiting efficiency and stomatal conductance (and its surrogates) are chosen for in-depth review. All three traits show promise, especially in the light of possible new ways of reducing the cost of their measurement in early generations. Remote sensing of foliage temperature for the detection of genotypic differences in stomatal conductance makes this clearly the most promising trait for thorough testing in commercial breeding populations. Such traits could be used directly or they could complement genomic selection in early generations.

                Author and article information

                Crop Prot
                Crop Prot
                Crop Protection (Guildford, Surrey)
                1 January 2021
                January 2021
                : 139
                : 105384
                [a ]National Agricultural Research Organization, National Livestock Resources Research Institute, P.O. Box 5407, Kampala, Uganda
                [b ]International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), P.O. Box 1041-00621, Nairobi, Kenya
                [c ]AATF, P.O. Box 30709-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
                [d ]National Agricultural Research Organization, National Crops Resources Research Institute, Namulonge, P.O. Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda
                [e ]Mozambique Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM), P.O. Box 3658, FPLM Av. N., 2698, Maputo, Mozambique
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. j.serumaga@ 123456gmail.com

                Current address: Bioversity International, c/o International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania.

                S0261-2194(20)30317-3 105384
                © 2020 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 19 June 2020
                : 2 September 2020
                : 4 September 2020

                stress,maize weevil,post-harvest,heritability
                stress, maize weevil, post-harvest, heritability


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