The environmental adaptation of maize germpasm is mainly controlled by certain genes, such as ZmCCT. This factor is influenced by both the genotype and the environment itself, being the gene able to express itself in the germination and seedling vigor under the conditions that is offered. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for traits related to physiological quality in maize landraces seeds. Hundred seeds of six strains were used: Catingueiro, Colombianoroxo, Colombianopreto, Cabeça de negro, Colombiano Vermelho and Estrada de ferro, arranged in polystyrene trays, each tray with 25 seeds, maintained at a temperature of 19 to 23°C, moistened with 15 ml of deionized water daily. The experimental design was completely randomized, with four repetitions. We evaluated the percentage of seeds germinated in the presence of coleoptile (%); assessment of the total weight of adventitial and primary roots (g); assessment of the total weight of the coleoptile (g); assessment of the length of the longest coleoptile (mm) and the length of the largest adventitial root (mm); length ratio of shoots with roots using direct division between heritability and genetic gain variables. Data were submitted to ANOVA. Percentage data were transformed by the formula arcsin [(x +0.5) / 100] 1/2 before being submitted to ANOVA. For comparison of means, we adopted the Tukey test at 5% probability of error. The results indicated genetic variability for the different characteristics of the studied physiological quality, especially for Catingueiro variety with high heritability and possible genetic gain with the potential to be used in breeding programs.
Key words: Variety, genetic gain, heritability, vigor, Zea mays L.