Efforts Towards the Development of High Yielding and Stem Borer Resistant Maize in a Humid Environment
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Efforts Towards the Development of High Yielding and Stem Borer Resistant Maize in a Humid Environment

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Abstract

Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka to commence the process of developing high yielding maize with resistance to stem borers in a humid environment.

The specific objectives were to (i) screen some maize genotypes for agronomic traits and stem borer resistance (ii) estimate some genetic parameters of the genotypes studied.

Twenty maize genotypes used comprised twelve maize genotypes collected from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) namely (2009 TZE OR1 DT STR QPM (TOR1), AMA TZBR – Y – F2 (AMA), TZBR COMP – 2 – YC1F2 (COMP2), BR 9928 DMRSR (B28), DMR – LSR – Y (DMR).

TZE – Y – POP DT STR QPM (POP), 2009 TZE  OR2 DT STR QPM (TOR2), 99 TZE Y – STR QPM (99 TZE), BR 9943 DMRSR (B43),  TZBR COMP  – YC1F2  (COMP1), EV DT  –  Y – 2000  STR  QPM (EVDT).

TZEE –  Y -POR STR QPM CO (PORC)) and eight (8) local accessions (Ugwuachara (UG), Umukasi (UM), ORBA1, Obukpa (OB), ORBA2, Edem Ani (EA), Isakpu (IS) and Ajuona (AJ)) from Enugu state, Nigeria.

Introduction

Maize (Zea mays L.) belongs to the family of grass Gramineae (Poaceae). It is a tall, monoecious annual plant with male and female flowers in separate places on the same plant with an extensive fibrous root system.

Its center of origin is a Mesoamerican region,  now Mexico and Central America (Doebley, 1994), and its domestication started at least  6000 years ago. Maize is one of the most productive and widely adapted crop species in the world.

It is cultivated in all parts of the world except Antarctica.  Loamy or silty loam soil or silty clay loam is the ideal soil type for its cultivation and a pH of 6.5 to  7.5 is the most preferred for its growth.

It is among the leading cereal crops after wheat and rice with regard to cultivation area, total production, and consumption (Olakojo and  Akinlosotu,  2004;  CIMMYT, 2004; Olawuyi et al., 2010). Global production amounted to 130 million hectares with an output of 574 million metric tons (Ito, 1998).

Maize is an important staple food crop for millions of people both in developed and developing countries. It is relatively high-yielding, easy to digest,  easily processed, and cheaper than other cereals.

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