Six maize inbred lines were selected on the basis of their overall performances in preliminary screening. They were subjected to complete diallel analysis for various physio-genetic parameters under water deficit conditions. There were highly significant (P<0.01) differences for all parameters, except leaf venation, among the inbred lines and their possible crosses. All traits showed additive gene action, except stomatal frequency and stomata size, which showed complete dominance and over-dominance respectively. The strength of dominant and recessive genes for each trait was found different in each inbred. The narrow and broad sense heritabilities for the traits under study ranged between 35 to 80 and 32 to 78% respectively. However, stomata frequency and size might be useful while selecting maize inbred lines for hybrid seed production under limited water conditions and all other traits might be used while selecting inbred lines for synthetic genotype development.
Key words: Drought, corn, stress breeding, gene action, physiology.
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