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Relationship between genetic parameters in maize (Zea mays) with seedling growth parameters under 40-100% soil moisture conditions

Author(s): R.W. Muhammad and A. Qayyum

We estimated the association of genetic parameters with production characters in 64 maize (Zea mays) genotypes in a green house in soil with 40-100% moisture levels (percent of soil moisture capacity). To identify the major parameters that account for variation among the genotypes, we used single linkage cluster analysis and principle component analysis. Ten plant characters were measured. The first two, four, three, and again three components, with eigen values > 1 contributed 75.05, 80.11, 68.67, and 75.87% of the variability among the genotypes under the different moisture levels, i.e., 40, 60, 80, and 100%, respectively. Other principal components (3-10, 5-10, and 4-10) had eigen values less than 1. The highest estimates of heritability were found for root fresh weight, root volume (0.99), and shoot fresh weight (0.995) in 40% soil moisture. Values of genetic advance ranged from 23.4024 for SR at 40% soil moisture to 0.2538 for shoot dry weight in 60% soil moisture. The high magnitude of broad sense heritability provides evidence that these plant characters are under the control of additivegenetic effects. This indicates that selection should lead to fast genetic improvement of the material. The superior agronomic types that we identified may be exploited for genetic potential to improve yield potential of the maize crop.