Combining ability and heterosis of maize (Zea mays L.) populations from the Algerian Sahara Desert under Mediterranean drought conditions


Drought causes significant yield reduction in maize (Zea mays L.), and germplasm from the Saharan Desert offers potential sources of drought tolerance. Our objectives were to estimate heterosis and combining ability
among Algerian maize populations under drought conditions and to identify populations and crosses as sources of drought tolerance for breeding programs in temperate environments. A diallel design without reciprocal of
six populations was used. The populations per se, their respective crosses, and checks were evaluated in Algiers (Algeria) in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Algerian maize populations exhibited high phenotypic variability and genetic divergence under water stress. The populations IGS and AOR per se could provide favorable alleles for higher early vigor under drought, MST for reducing anthesis-silking interval (ASI), and both AOR and SHH for increasing yield under water stress. Among all crosses, IGS × MST was the most outstanding cross for reducing ASI, and IGS × SHH and BAH × SHH for increasing yield under water stress. Our results confirm the existence of  heterotic relationships among Algerian maize populations from diverse origins under water stress


Maize, Algerian germplasm, varietal effect, heterosis, drought

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013