Agricultural Science Digest

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Agricultural Science Digest, volume 42 issue 5 (october 2022) : 541-547

Genetic Diversity Analysis in Maize Landraces under Temperate Ecology

Latif Ahmad Peer, Zahoor A. Dar, Aijaz A. Lone, Mohd. Yaqub Bhat
1Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar-190 006, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Cite article:- Peer Ahmad Latif, Dar A. Zahoor, Lone A. Aijaz, Bhat Yaqub Mohd. (2022). Genetic Diversity Analysis in Maize Landraces under Temperate Ecology. Agricultural Science Digest. 42(5): 541-547. doi: 10.18805/ag.D-5490.
Background: Though modern high yielding and synthetics developed through maize heterosis are replacing low-yielding maize populations worldwide, it has shown little impact in Kashmir due to poor adaptability and expensive seed cost. Nevertheless, retaining popularity due to adaptability, more resistance to natural factors, early maturity, good grain quality, great food and fodder value and ability to thrive best under low input conditions, landraces are going out of farmer’s domain and becoming extinct owing to low yielding potential, low resilience to some biotic stresses and lower sensitivity to inputs. For developing high yielding, climate-resilient cultivars and broadening of the genetic base, efficient and rapid identification and introgression of novel and favourable alleles dispersed among the landraces are necessary. 
Methods: Seventy maize landraces from different parts of Kashmir valley designated as K-L1 to K-L70 were subjected to genetic analysis for thirteen important agronomic traits viz. days to 50% tasselling, days to 50% silking, anthesis-silking interval, plant height, ear height, days to maturity, ear diameter, kernel rows per ear, kernels per row, prolificacy, shelling percentage, yield per hectare and 100-grain weight. The least significance increase was calculated to evaluate best performing landraces and clustering of landraces was done using Mahalanobis D2 analysis through Tocher’s method. The experimentation was carried out at Dryland Agriculture Research Station Budgam during the years 2019 and 2020.
Result: Significant differences for all agronomic traits except anthesis-silking interval and prolificacy depicted the presence of significant genetic variability. The least significant increase calculations allowed the evaluation of best-performing landraces for specific traits and  Mahalanobis D2 analysis through Tocher’s method led to clustering landraces into 14 clusters with cluster I having the highest 23, followed by cluster VI with 14, cluster II and cluster III each with 9, cluster VIII with 6 genotypes and rest 9 clusters being mono-genotypic. Intra and inter-clustering distance and cluster means suggest utilizing genotypes belonging to clusters with wider statistical distances for crossing in hybridization programme to produce segregates with extensive variation resulting in higher heterosis.

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