Genetic contribution to maize yield gain among different locations in China


Maize (Zea mays L) yields have increased as the result of new hybrids and improved agronomic practices. Climatic factors markedly influenced maize growth and grain yield. The objectives of this study were to i) analyze changes in maize yield with genotype and agronomic-management improvement in different locations, and ii) assess the contributions of genotype, agronomic management, and genotype × agronomic management to maize yield gain between locations. Maize yield respectively increased 8.81 t ha-1 in Changji, 7.14 t ha-1 in Gongzhuling, and 7.98 t ha-1 in Xinxiang, from the 1950s to 2010s. In the three different growing sites, the contributions to yield gain were estimated 41.72 - 62.74% for genotype, 23.1 - 34.74% for agronomic improvement, and 10.6 - 29.89% for the combined effects of genotype × agronomic management. The contribution of genotype to yield gain was highest in Xinxiang at > 60%. The relative yield gain ratios of the three locations were Xinxiang > Gongzhuling > Changji considering genotype and cultivation improvement since the 1950s. The high contribution of genotype and relative yield gain ratio in Xinxiang may have resulted from Xinxiang having the lowest basic yield in the 1950s, and new hybrids having enhanced adaptability in the area. It suggested that breeding for improved adaptation to different environments is required in order to continue increasing maize yield in China.


maize (Zea mays L), yield gain, contribution, location, genotypic adaptation

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