Ten popcorn inbred lines were crossed in a circulant partial diallel matching scheme (group of lines derived from IAC 112 × group of lines from 'Zaeli'). The hybrids were evaluated in respect to grain yield (GY), popping expansion (PE), and resistance to southern rust (Puccinia polysora, Pp), in randomized block design, with three replications. Data was examined by analyses of variance and Kempthorne and Curnow's diallel analysis. General combining ability (GCA) was significant (p < 0.10) in the set 2-Zaeli for GY, PE, and partial resistance to Pp. This indicated that additive gene effects are predominant, and therefore breeding methods of recurrent selection are recommended. However, none of lines had outstanding GCA for GY and PE. The line P8.5 was recommended to form breeding populations for resistance to Pp. Specific combining ability (SCA) was detected for GY. The P9.24 × P8.6 might be promising for GY, if exploited using interpopulational breeding methods.
Zea mays; General and specific combining ability; Puccinia polysora; Plant breeding