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Volume: 2, Issue: 3, May-June, 2014
Agronomic evaluation of temperate maize populations in tropical zone
Three temperate maize populations, DEA, FS14 and BUGARD which may be useful for the improvement of tropical maize populations through introgression, were evaluated agronomically during two consecutive years in two tropical agroecological zones (north and south of Benin). The traits studied were: earliness (days to silking and maturity, number of leaves), plant and ear heights, reaction to diseases, husk cover, grain yield and its components, and harvest index. All the populations were early maturing, susceptible to rust, tropical blight and maize streak and showed intermediate or poor husk cover. Their grain yields were low but FS14 and DEA yielded significantly higher than BUGARD in savanna zone. FS14 and DEA harvest indexes were high and significantly greater than that, very low, of BUGARD. FS14 and DEA can be used in tropical breeding programs, through introgression, to improve tropical maize populations for traits such as earliness, reduced plant and ear heights, and harvest index.
Keywords: Benin, agronomic evaluation, temperate maize, tropical zone.