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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


ALVAREZ, María del Pilar  and  MIRANDA FILHO, José Branco de. Diallel crossing among maize populations for resistance to fall armyworm. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.4, pp.731-741. ISSN 1678-992X.

Among the insects infecting the maize (Zea mays L.) crop in Brazil, the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda Smith, 1797, Lepdoptera: Noctuidae) is considered one of the most important because it causes the highest damage to yield. Genetic resistance to the fall armyworm has be an effective control strategy. The main objective of this work was to evaluate new germplasm sources for resistance to the fall armyworm, the key pest for the maize crop in Brazil. A partial diallel design between 20 varieties of Brazilian germplasm and nine exotic and semi-exotic varieties of different origin was used. The 180 crosses and 29 parental varieties along with two commercial checks were evaluated in three locations in the State of São Paulo State (Brasil). Fall armyworm resistance (FAWR) under artificial and natural infestations, grain yield (GY), and plant height (PH) were analyzed. The populations CMS14C and MIRT, and hybrid São José x MIRT showed the highest resistance, with values of 1.8, 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Populations PMI9401 and PR91B, and the hybrid CMS14C x (B97xITU) had best yields, with 4893, 3858 and 5677 kg ha-1, respectively. Heterosis ranged from -28% to 47% for FAWR and from -21% to 125% for GY, with mean values of -0,43% and 31%, respectively. Genotype by environment interaction was not significant for FAWR. The effects of varieties and heterosis were significant for all traits, showing that both additive and dominance effects may be important as sources of variation. For FAWR, only specific heterosis presented significance, suggesting strong genetic divergence between specific pairs of parental populations. Brasilian populations PMI9302 and São José, and the exotic population PR91B presented high performance per se, and also in croses for FAWR and GY. Crosses PMI9401 x (Cuba110 x EsalqPB1) and São José x MIRT presented high specific heterosis effects for both characters. These populations can be useful to be introgressed in maize breeding programs.

Keywords : genetic resistance; partial diallel; germplasm.

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