Generation Means Analysis for Estimation of Genetic Parameters for Striga hermonthica Resistance in Maize (Zea mays L.)

  •  Peter Mbogo    
  •  Mathews Dida    
  •  Barrack Owuor    


Striga hermonthica is a parasitic weed species that causes considerable yield loss in susceptible maize cultivars in western Kenya. A generation means analysis was conducted to estimate gene effects influencing resistance/tolerance to Striga hermonthica in maize cultivars adapted to western Kenya. A resistant inbred line developed by Maseno University, MSMP1/P2 was crossed to Striga susceptible inbred line 5057. Experimental units comprised of resistant parent P1, susceptible parent P2, their F1 and F2 generations, and BC1P1 and BC1P2 generations. The six generations were evaluated under Striga sick plots at Nyahera during the short rains of 2012 and long rains of 2013. Field evaluation for entries were grown in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. The results showed significant differences among generations for emerged Striga, Striga damage rating and maize growth including Plant and Ear height. Most of the additive, dominance, additive x additive, additive x dominance and dominance x dominance effects were significant indicating the importance of the additive, dominance and epistatic modes of gene actions in controlling emerged Striga, Striga damage rating, plant and ear height. Most components conferring Striga tolerance behaved in a qualitative manner. Dominance effects had higher mean values over additive effects. Significant dominant genetic effects (d) for Striga emergence and Striga damage rating suggested preponderance of non-additive genetic effects in the inheritance of Striga tolerance. The results also reveal the involvement of duplicate epistasis where the dominance estimate and dominance x dominance interaction had opposite signs. The presence of duplicate type of gene interaction confirms the importance of dominance gene effects.

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