The objectives of this study were to identify promising popcorn lines and hybrids for genetic resistance to tropical rust (Tr, Physopella zeae) in diallel crosses of nine lines derived from a large part of Brazilian popcorn germplasm and to estimate genetic parameters for Tr resistance. Crosses and checks were tested in a random block design, with artificial inoculations under greenhouse conditions. Plots consisted of a single 14-L pot, with four plants. Tr was measured by severity and area under the disease progress curve. Data was analyzed by Griffing's diallel model, and genetic parameters were estimated. Heritability estimates to Tr resistance was medium. Specific combining ability-SCA had significant effects (P<0.10) for resistance, and was eight to nine times larger than general combining ability-GCA (P>0.10). This indicated the major importance of non additive gene effects. In general, breeding possibilities for resistance was restricted. The line 9 (L7.4) had the most outstanding GCA for resistance to Tr, and hybrids 1×7 and 3×6 had outstanding SCA and were recommended for breeding.
Zea mays L.; Physopella zeae; parâmetros genéticos; capacidades geral e específica de combinação; inoculação artificial