Identification of drought tolerant elite single-cross maize (zea mays l.) Hybrids for semi-arid Kenya

  • D. W. Wachenje Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University
  • P. P. O. Ojwang Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University
  • M. Mwimali Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Abstract

Drought is a major production constraint limiting maize production in sub-Saharan Africa. Improving maize for resilience to drought stress is essential for deployment of drought tolerant varieties in semi-arid areas. The objective of this study was to identify elite single-cross maize hybrids which are drought tolerant under semi-arid conditions. Ninety-one single-cross maize hybrids and seven commercial checks were evaluated for drought tolerance under field conditions at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research organization (KALRO) Katumani research centre  and  Kiboko  sub-centre  in  an  α-lattice design. This experiment was carried out under both random and managed drought conditions in two replications. Combined analysis of variance across locations revealed significant (p<0.05) main effects for genotypes, locations and genotype by location interactions of most yield and yield related traits studied. The highest performing hybrid for grain yield was KAT-DT-E-06 with 6.45 t/ha against the best performing check variety DK8031 which yielded 4.66 t/ha. Anthesis-silking interval trait, values of 0 and 0.5 were recorded for genotype KAT-DT-M-25 and KAT-DT-M-29 while the best performing commercial check variety in terms of ASI was PAN 4M-19 with 1.0. Broad sense heritability for grain yield  trait  of  61.93%  was recorded  under  managed  drought  compared  to  1.95% under to random drought while anthesis-silking interval recorded 3.02% and 8.2% respectively. Genotypes KAT- DT-EE-02, KAT-DT-EE-04, KAT-DT-EE-05 and KAT-DT-E-06 recorded the lowest cultivar superiority () values between 0.20 and 0.26 on the cultivar superiority index demonstrating their high grain yield and wide adaptability to drought prone conditions. These identified genotypes are drought tolerant, high yielding  and  stable  hence suitable candidates for deployment to farmers in semi-arid areas.

Published
2022-05-26
How to Cite
Wachenje, D. W., Ojwang, P. P. O., & Mwimali, M. (2022). Identification of drought tolerant elite single-cross maize (zea mays l.) Hybrids for semi-arid Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 85(1-4), 12. Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/510