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Combining Ability for Nitrogen Use in a Selected set of Inbred Lines from a Tropical Maize Population

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18512/1980-6477/rbms.v1n3p68-77

http://rbms.cnpms.embrapa.br/index.php/ojs/index 

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Elto E. G. e Gama1, Ivanildo E. Marriel1, Paulo E. de O. Guimarães1, Sidney N. Parentoni1, Manoel X. dos Santos1, Cleso A. P. Pacheco1, Walter F. Meireles1, Pedro H. E. Ribeiro1 & Antônio C. de Oliveira1

 

Abstract: Tolerance rather than resistance, is the crop response mechanism sought by maize breeders for cultivation under low levels of nitrogen. Although improved nitrogen use is in intensive research by maize breeders, little is known about its inheritance on tropical maize germplasm. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the N use through yield and other traits, and to determine the importance of general (GCA) and specific (SCA) combining ability effects in the inheritance of N use, for yield, using a diallel of crosses among a selected set of tropical maize lines under two levels of N. A comparison of relative magnitudes of GCA and SCA for ear yield (EY) suggests that this trait was governed more by dominance than additive gene action, and the contribution of additive genes for nitrogen utilization efficiency decreases under N nutrient shortage. Since, for this set of lines, only non additive effects were significant for this trait, the lines with favorable SCA could be used as donors of N use efficiency in a hybrid development program. The line L2 was identified as being the most suitable combining overall parents in this study for improving EY. The crosses L 3 x L 7, L 1 x L 2 and L 7 x L 10 showed to be promising combinations based on the significant SCA effects for lines and hybrids development. The results of this study can enhance the use of promising inbred lines in a program focused on developing hybrid that efficiently can take up and uses nitrogen.

Key words: Zea mays L., nitrogen stress, general and specific combining ability, yield.

 

Resumo: Tolerância, em vez de resistência, é um mecanismo de resposta das plantas que tem sido buscado por melhoristas de milho, para cultivos com baixos níveis de nitrogênio. Mesmo com o crescimento das pesquisas por melhoristas, visando o uso mais eficiente do nitrogênio, pouco se conhece sobre sua implicação no comportamento de linhagens e a respeito de sua herdabilidade em germoplasma de milho tropical. Os objetivos deste estudo foram avaliar o uso do nitrogênio, com base na produção de espigas (PE) e de outros caracteres, bem como determinar a importância dos efeitos das capacidades geral (CGC) e específica (CEC) de combinação na herança do uso de nitrogênio, usando-se cruzamento dialelo de um grupo de linhagens selecionadas, em dois níveis de nitrogênio. Uma comparação da magnitude relativa das CGC e CEC para PE sugere que esta característica foi mais controlada por genes em dominância que devido à ação gênica aditiva e que a contribuição dos genes aditivos para o uso eficiente de nitrogênio diminuiu com o estresse de nitrogênio. Como, para esse grupo de linhagens, somente os efeitos não aditivos foram significativos nas condições de estresse de N, as linhagens deste estudo com CEC favoráveis poderiam ser usadas como doadoras da tolerância ao estresse de N, em programas de desenvolvimento de híbridos. A linhagem L2 foi identificada como sendo a mais promissora para combinação com as demais linhagens, para se aumentar a PE. Os cruzamentos L3 x L7, L1 x L2 e L7 x L10, baseados nos efeitos da CEC, mostram ser combinações promissoras para um programa de desenvolvimento de linhagens e híbridos. Os resultados deste estudo indicam o potencial a ser explorado com o uso de linhagens promissoras, em programa de melhoramento focado no desenvolvimento de híbridos eficientes na utilização do nitrogênio.

Palavras-chave: Zea mays L., estresse de nitrogênio, capacidade geral e específica de combinação, produção.

 

1 Pesquisadores, Embrapa Milho e Sorgo. Caixa Postal 151, CEP, 35701-970 Sete Lagoas, MG. E-mail: gamaelto@cnpms.embrapa.br (autor para correspondência).

 

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