Screening of maize single cross hybrids for tolerance to low phosphorus
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Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the world's most important staple food crops; however, its productivity is limited by phosphorus (P) deficiency in acid soils. The objective of this study was to develop single cross hybrids from P-efficient inbred lines and screen them for tolerance to P efficiency in the acid soils at Sega and Bumala in Western Kenya known to be low in available P. Forty nine single cross hybrids were developed from high P parental lines and screened for tolerance to low P (2-2.2mgPlKg soil) in the field. The effect of P application (26kgPlha) on maize grain yield, ear and plant height was assessed. Mean grain yield for the hybrids was 42.3% higher with P fertilizer than without P for the same hybrids. Plant and ear heights were reduced by about 14.8%. Thirty three per cent of these crosses were inefficient but responsive to P application, 27% were efficient and none responsive and only 2% were efficient and responsive. Grain yield was positively correlated (r = 0.57**) with plant height and ear height (r =0.60**) and plant height with ear height (r =0.86***). However, grain yield had low and negative correlation with days to 50% silking (r =-0.32) and days to 50% tasseling (r = -0.32). This study has developed and identified P-efficient single cross hybrids that can be used either directly or in developing 3-way and/or 4-way cross hybrids for use in acid soils of Western Kenya and in other acid soil within the region.
CitationOptimimization of Agricultural Value Chains for sustainable Development
SponsorhipNational Council of Science and Technology, The Kenya Seed Company
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nairobi
aGRO 2011 biennial conference presentation