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BERNINI, Cristiani Santos et al. Inbreeding depression and heterosis of hybrids in F2 populations of maize in the Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Bragantia [online]. 2013, vol.72, n.3, pp.217-223. ISSN 1678-4499.

Heterosis and inbreeding depression are complementary phenomena, both important to the establishment of breeding strategies, such as conventional hybrids and population breeding. This study aimed to evaluate the agronomic traits of hybrids in F2 populations, estimate of heterosis in relation to the average of the parents and determine the inbreeding depression in F2 parents populations. Ten hybrids of F2 populations, five F2 parents populations and the respective commercial hybrids (HC) were evaluated for male flowering, plant height, ear height and grain mass. Plants were evaluated in Mococa and Palmital counties at the Sao Paulo State and the experiment was arranged in a completely randomized block design. The estimated inbreeding depression from F1 to next F2 generation ranged from 18.0% in HC12 to 48.1% in HC10 for grain mass. The heterosis in relation to the parents' mean was 37.2%, represented by high yield in F2 hybrids. Based on these results, it was possible to highlight two hybrids of F2 populations with high yield potential, high average heterosis and F2 populations with potential for extraction of inbred lines.

Keywords : Zea mays; hybrid vigor; inbreeding; breeding population.

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