Full Project – Studies of yield and yield related traits in some hybrids of maize

Full Project – Studies of yield and yield related traits in some hybrids of maize

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1.1      Background of the study

Maize (Zea mays L.) (2n=20) is second leading crop after wheat (Kempthome, 2014). It belongs to the family poaceae and originated from Mexico (Carlsen, 2004). It is C4 plant, thus, has higher production potentiality per unit area, and per unit time (Poehlman and Sleper, 1995). Maize is a major cereal crop for both feed and food in many parts of the word (Carlsen, 2004). Maize can be grown on a wide range of soil types but its best yield obtained on deep fertile loamy soils and the crop does not withstand water logging; therefore, the soil must be properly drained. A pH of 5.5-6.8 appears suitable for good growth and yield of the crop. A temperature of between 15-32oC is ideal for better performance of the crop. High temperature exceeding 32oC during flowering and fertilization causes significant yield reduction, it also required 120 kg N, 60 kg P2 05 and 60 kg K2O/ha  fertilizer (Husain et al., 2002). Maize estimation was 55,721,588 tonnes worldwide, harvested from 40,935,896 hectares in 2016, with an average yield of 13,612 kg/ha, the African total production for the year 2010 was 211,107,724 tonnes harvested from 24,837,754 hectares at an average yield of 8,498 kg/ha. In Nigeria the total production was 4,784,100 tonnes, harvested from4,736,730 hectares at an average yield of 10,100 kg/ha (FAOSTAT, 2016).

Maize is monoecious plant in nature, that is to say both male and female flowers are born separately on the same plant. The male inflorescence also known as tassel is located at the top of the culm. Tassel is a branched in which paired spikelets (one sessile and one pedicelled) are produced on both, the central axis and the branches (Vivek et al., 2004). Each spikelet has two lowermost empty bracts called glumes and two staminate florets. Each floret has three stamens enclosed by lemma and palea. The female inflorescence also known as cob or ear is placed at somewhat mid-height in a node of the main stem or stalk and the female inflorescence is considered as a modified lateral branch arising from an axillary bud on the main stem. There are modified leaves in form of overlapping sheaths originating from the lower node of the axis to cover the female inflorescence or the cob (Vivek et al., 2004).

1.2      Constraints of Maize Production

Constraints of maize production in tropical region of Africa, both abiotic and biotic factors contributed to the constraints of maize production (Wambugu and Wafula, 2000). For instance, drought is the most important abiotic factor that affects maize production, low water holding capacity of soil, erratic rainfall distribution, shallow effective rooting depths, high losses by runoff and evaporation among others (Lal et al., 2011). Maize is the most important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and an important staple food for more than 1.2 billion people in SSA and Latin America, due to, all parts of the crop can be used for food and feed. In industrialized countries, maize is largely used as livestock feed and as a raw material for industrial products. Maize accounts for 30−50% of low-income household expenditures in Eastern and Southern Africa (Nemati, et al. 2009).

1.3      Problem statement

Yield in general, is quantitative in nature, obtained as a result of various characters working together during the crop growth, which are interdependent in their functions. It is, therefore, desirable to study the association between yield and yield related characters since this would facilitate effective selection for simultaneous improvement of one or more yield influencing components (Olaoye, 2009). It also confirmed that, breeders often face some problems of selecting parents and crosses if worked without knowledge of correlation (Kempthorne, 2014). It also aids in selecting desirable parents and crosses for the exploitation of conventional breeding programme for commercial purpose (Carlsen, 2004). Therefore, studies on relationship between yield and yield influencers plays vital roles in maize improvement.

1.4      Justification of the study

One of the criteria which determine commercial acceptability of maize is the yield   per hectare and crop yield is the product of the individual yield components (morphological characteristics) operating in the crop species in question. Selection criteria may be yield, or one or more of the yield component characters. However, breeding for high yield crops require information on the nature and magnitude of the relationship between yield and yield related characters. Since yield in maize is quantitative in nature and polygenically controlled (Bello and Olaoye, 2009). Therefore, information on that relationship between yield and yield influencers is imperative

1.5      Aim and objectives of the study

The main aimed at yield improvement in maize through the following objectives designed to:


  1. Determine some vital informations on yield and yield components.
  2. Determine the contribution of some morphological traits to the final yield.




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Full Project – Studies of yield and yield related traits in some hybrids of maize