- Combining ability, General combining ability, Specific combining ability, Inbred lines, Line by tester, Maize.
The study was initiated to estimate combining ability of maize inbred lines and crosses using line by tester analysis. Fifty entries consists 48 F1 single crosses developed from 24 inbred lines and 2 testers using line x tester design and two commercial check hybrids used in the study. The experiment was conducted using alpha lattice design with two replications. Analysis of variance revealed existence of significant genetic variation among genotypes for all studied traits except for plant aspect (PA). Location x entry interaction for most of the traits was not significant which suggests hybrid performance was consistent across tested locations. Line x tester analysis of variance showed that mean squares due to GCA of lines were significant (p< 0.01 or p< 0.05) for all studied traits. Mean squares of tester GCA and SCA were significant for most of studied traits. This indicates that both additive and non-additive gene effects had contributed for the variation of the crosses. However, higher proportional contribution of additive gene action for all studied traits was obtained. Several lines and crosses were identified as good general and specific combiners for yield and yield related traits. Lines L23, L11, L15 and crosses L2xT1, L3xT1, L8xT1, L11xT1, L23xT1 and L13xT2 were found to be good general and specific combiners, respectively. In conclusion, the stated inbred lines with desirable gca effects and cross combinations with desirable sca effects for grain yield and yield related traits could be used as useful genetic material.