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The prime objectives of maize breeding programs are to bring improvement in grain yield of maize. Recurrent selection is an important breeding technique for bringing desirable improvement in maize populations. The main objective of this investigation was to estimate genetic variability, heritability, selection differential, selection response and percent gain per cycle for various traits and also to assess the impact of half-sib family recurrent selection on grain yield in maize population ZM-309. Sixty-four half-sib families recurrently selected, and obtained from CIMMYT sourced maize population ZM-309, were tested in 8 x 8 partially balanced lattice square design in two replications at Cereal Crops Research Institute (CCRI), Pirsabak, Nowshera during 2018. Data were recorded on days to mid tasseling, plant height, ear height, ear length, grains rows per ear, hundred kernels weight and grain yield. Significant differences were observed among half-sib families for all the parameters. For days to 50% tasseling high heritability (0.83) was recorded, while the lowest heritability (50%) was recorded for grain rows per ear. The response to selection was negative for days to tasseling (-2.44). Anthesis silking interval expressed highest genotypic covariance (56.44) while the lowest genotypic covariance was recorded for plant height (3.24). Highest percent gain per cycle was recorded for ear height (4.21%) and plant height (5.31%), while lowest percent gain per cycle was recorded for days to tasselling. Highest selection differential was observed for grain yield (3.8%). After the completion of this experiment, it was deduced that enhancement in grain yield through half-sib family recurrent selection is useful and maize population ZM-309 can be exploited for further betterment through half-sib family recurrent selection.
Keywords: Half-sib recurrent family; Heritability; Percent gain per cycle; Selection differential; Selection response