Aida Z. Kebede, George Mahuku, Juan Burgueño, Felix San Vicente, Jill E. Cairns, Biswanath Das, Dan Makumbi, Cosmos Magorokosho, Vanessa S. Windhausen, Albrecht E. Melchinger and Gary N. Atlin
The exchange of elite breeding materials across regions is an important way in which multinational maize breeding programmes access new genetic variation, improve efficiency and reduce costs. Our objectives were to examine whether CIMMYT’s breeding programmes for tropical and subtropical environments in Mexico and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) can effectively share materials. Sets of selected and unselected lines were evaluated for per se and testcross performance in multiple environments in Mexico and ESA for grain yield, days to anthesis and plant height. Genotypic correlations between performance in Mexico and ESA as testcross and line per se were high (≥ 0.72) for all experiments, and indirect selection efficiency ranged from 67 to over 100% for all traits. Lines selected in ESA or Latin America performed equally well in each region, indicating selection was for broad rather than regional adaptation. Thus, breeding programmes of CIMMYT in both Mexico and ESA can benefit tremendously by exchanging breeding materials and test results, and elite selections from each region should be fast-tracked for evaluation in the other.
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