Morphological diversity among local and introduced maize (Zea mays L.) varieties in Haiti for yield improvement


Maize, the cereal with the largest production in the world, is a staple crop in many developing countries including
Haiti. Even if Haiti is the second maize consumer in the Caribbean region, its national yield is low and alleged of
aflatoxin contamination. In order to increase grain yield, three introduced and two local maize varieties (these
used as comparative control) were evaluated. Three field trials were carried out at Torbeck and Morne Briller (Port-
Salut) during different growing seasons. Experiments were designed in a three-replicate randomized block. Each
experimental plot was 3.50 m per 10.5 m with a gross area of 36.75 m2 and 40 000 plants/ha densities. The trials
were carried out according to local agricultural practices. The results revealed that the introduced varieties had
a smaller yield than the local ones. Moreover, all varieties showed some aflatoxin content below the European
Union limit (5μg/Kg). Statistical analyses showed a strong and direct correlation between yield and ear weight
and an inverse correlation between yield and male and female flowering day after sowing. The broad phenotypic
diversity suggested a rich reserve of alleles to exploit in a breeding program focused to improve food security in


Maize, yield, developing countries, Haiti

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013