African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6712

Full Length Research Paper

Physiological quality and genetic parameters of maize landraces seeds in southwestern Bahia

Erlani de Oliveira Alves
  • Erlani de Oliveira Alves
  • Agronomy/Phytotechnics Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), FAPESB Studentship. ZIP CODE: 45083-900 Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
Ivan Vilas Boas Souza
  • Ivan Vilas Boas Souza
  • Agronomy/Phytotechnics, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), CAPES Studentship. ZIP CODE: 45083-900, Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil
  • Google Scholar
Talitta Silva dos Santos Paiva
  • Talitta Silva dos Santos Paiva
  • Agronomy/Phytotechnics, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), CAPES Studentship. ZIP CODE: 45083-900, Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
Claudio Lucio Fernandes Amaral
  • Claudio Lucio Fernandes Amaral
  • Department of Biological Sciences (DCB), Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), ZIP CODE: 45206-190. Jequie, Brazil.
  • Google Scholar
Yuri Ferreira Amorim
  • Yuri Ferreira Amorim
  • Agronomy/Phytotechnics Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), FAPESB Studentship. ZIP CODE: 45083-900 Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 27 August 2014
  •  Accepted: 26 April 2015
  •  Published: 21 May 2015


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.


Maize (Zea mays. L) is one of the most important cerealsin Brazil, being produced in different regions of the country (Costa et al., 2013). Bahia is highlighted as a major producer of the Northeast region, with a production of 1.7 million tons (IBGE, 2013). More vigorous, with    higher    germination    speed,    good    adaptation     and productive seeds are characteristics desired by producers, and higher production can be attributed to the evolution of grain yield, which has a joint relationship with breeding techniques, adoption of supplies and different ways of managing and cultivation acquired by various cultures to which maize can be included (Mundstock and Silva, 2005).
Among the characteristics that offer good quality to seeds, genetic deserves close attention, because improvement in culture conferred an increase in yields of 78 kg ha-1.year-1 between the 30 and 70 s, going to 4,316 Kg.ha-1 in 2010, giving improved corn plants a good gene expression (Martin et al., 2007; CONAB, 2011). Seeds of local varieties are considered components of agro biodiversity as they are of inestimable value for traditional populations (CATÃO et al., 2010). The environmental adaptation of maize germpasm is mainly controlled by certain genes, such as ZmCCT (Hung et al., 202). This factor is influenced by both the genotype and the environment itself (Gondim et al., 2006) and the genes may express on germination and seedling vigor under the offered conditions.
Gene expression is a result of the genetic dominance, additive and/or epistatic effect that may influence the hum of expression quantitative character in a population (Bespalhok filho et al., 2005). The genotype can be seen through evaluations on the phenotype of culture and its performance represents the genotypic value in occupied environment (Cargin et al., 2006). The phenotypic variance can be divided into: environmental produced variation, variation due to the different characteristics of heredity and variation acquired by the sum of the effects caused by environment and heredity. Vencovsky (1987) states that the variation can be calculated due to genetic differences between treatment and/or progeny, which is one of the favorable components to improvement, because it confers genetic gains. Genetic variability can be quantified by the coefficient of genetic variation, which expresses the genetic variation compared to the average evaluated character (Resende, 1991).
Heritability is the result on the quotient between phenotypic and genotypic variances, which assesses the efficiency of selection in the application of genetic variability (Carvalho et al., 2012). This heritability is divided into wide or narrow, and may vary according to the kind, character, environmental conditions, and phenological stages. The objective of this study was to estimate the genetic parameters of physiological related characters ofmaize landraces seeds, so as to provide practical directions for their application in breeding programs.


The experiment was conducted in the Bio factory of Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da   Bahia   (UESB). Seeds of sSeeds six maize landraces varietiesvarieties, harvested ined in 2012, were selected:   Catingueiro,   Colombiano    roxo,    Colombiano    preto,
Cabeça de negro, Colombiano vermelho and Estrada de ferro. All varieties come from plantations made by Diretoria de Campo da UESB (DICAP). These varieties are widely cultivated in the Southwestern region of Bahia - Brazil. The experimental design was completely randomized with six treatments and four repetitions for each treament. Each repetition was represented by a tray containing 25 seeds. 
The seeds were selected and arranged in polystyrene trays, covered with moistened cotton in 60 ml of deionized water. Each repetition was daily rehydrated with 15 ml of deionized water. The average temperature during the experiment ranged from 19°C  to 23°C. The occurrence of seed germination was daily observed by coleoptile emission; they were counted and identified for variables analysis:
(i) Germination speed, in days, was determined by Edmond and Drapala equation (Oliveira et al., 2009).
Where: TM - number of days to coleoptile emission; G1 to Gi - number of germinated seedlings occurring every day; T1 to Ti - number of days of growth.
(ii) Percentage of germination in 1st and final count, calculated by the percentage of germinated seeds every day;
(iii) Count of the number of roots;
(iv) Percentage of seeds germinated with the presence of coleoptile;
(v) Evaluation of total weight of adventitious and primary roots (g), by weighing with a precision balance using three decimals;
(vi) Evaluation of the total weight of coleoptile (g), by weighing with a precision balance using three decimals;
(vii) Evaluation of the length of the longest coleoptile (mm), using a precision graduated ruler;
(viii) Evaluation of the length of the longest adventitial roots (mm), using a precision graduated ruler;
(ix) Relation of the shoot length with the roots, using direct division between the variables.
Data were subjected to analysis of variance and Tukey test at 5% probability using SAEG program.
Genetic parameters estimates were determined using the methodology presented by Oyiga and Uguru (2010) and Sunday et al. (2007):
(1) Genotypic, phenotypic and environmental variability were calculated via the following formulas:
Where Vg, Vp and Ve are genotypic, phenotypic and environmental variances, respectively, and MSg, MSe and r are the mean square of genotypes, mean square error, and the number of repetitions, respectively.
(2) Coefficient of genotypic, phenotypic and environmental variation were calculated via the following equations:
Data in percentages were transformed to ArcSin square root ((x +0.5)/ 100), by SISVAR program, version 5.3 before being submitted to ANOVA, and those in other forms were submittedto ANOVA directly (FERREIRA, 2010). For means comparison, we adopted the Tukey test at 5% probability of error using SISVAR program, version 5.3 (Ferreira, 2010). 




Germination for the different maize landraces strains presented significant difference between Catingueiro and Estrada de ferro varieties (Table 1). Germination rate percentage parameter (TG), germination speed (VG), seeds with coleoptiles (SC), length of the longest coleoptile (CMC), total weight of coleoptile (PTC), average number of roots (NMR), longest root length (CMR), weight of roots (PR).
Costa et al. (2013) reported that reportedgermination index in maize landraces ranged from 47 to 75%. For germination speed, Cabeça de negro Black Head showed greater speed, without, however, differ from Colombiano preto and Colombiano vermelho which did not differ from the others (Table 1). Lower germination was observed in cultivars of Catingueiro and Cabeça de negro   (Costa   et al., 2013).  The highest percentage of seeds with presence  of  normal  seedlings  (95%) was shown in Catingueiro strain; relative to the length of coleoptiles and roots, the strains showed no significant differences. For the weight of the seedlings and roots, Catingueiro showed the highest values, without differ from Colombiano preto, Colombiano vermelho, Estrada de ferro variet, for both evaluated characteristics. The Catingueiro, Colombiano preto and Colombiano vermelho strains showed higher number of roots, however, the Estrada de ferro did not differ from those and another’s (Table 1). Results corroborate Cato et al. (2010) for Catingueiro strain in germination rate and germination speed variables. In general, the Catingueiro strain showed the best characteristics for almost all studied variables, except for the speed of germination, but not harming the development of seed for other variables evaluated. Statistically the Catingueiro variety obtained higher performance than the other varieties not relevant mathematically evaluate the data.
As can be seen in Table 2, there was high heritability (h2) and low genetic gain (GA) for the variables: root weight, shoot  weight,  presence  of shoot, root plus shoots weight, germination speed and germination rate, on the other hand, there was high heritability and moderate genetic gain for root length and shoot length; high heritability and high genetic gain for number of roots and moderate heritability and low genetic gain for the ratio of shoot length with root, considering the
intervals determined by Johnson et al. (1955). Similar results were found by Sunday et al. (2007) in work with rice seeds.
The highest estimates of genotypic variability coefficients (GCV) were observed among the parameters including PPA(weight of shoots), root + shoot weight, CR (root weight), NR (number of roots), presence of shoots, CPA (shoot length), and CR (root length), showing high genetic variability for traits evaluated, with the possibility of obtaining greater genetic gain for the desired characters, as they showed a percentage above 20%, according to the methods of Oyiga and Uguru (2010) and Sunday et al. (2007). 
The lower environmental variation coefficient (ECV) was 8.419% for VG (germination speed) and the greatest was 66.364% for PPA (shoot weight). For the other parameters a high ECV was observed, which implies greater difficulty in selection of these traits. In this case say that there is environmental influences in the formation of character, however, it is worth noting that the genetic influence is considerable, which is given by the heritability as can be seen in Table 2 for all variables (Oyiga and Uguru, 2010). 
Differences of PCV and GCV for germination rate, root number, presence of shoots, germination speed, indicated that such characteristics are ruled primarily by genetic factors and minimal environmental influence on phenotypic expression of the characters, so the selection of these characteristics based on phenotypic seems to be effective.
On  the  other  hand,   major   differences   were found in  root  weight,  root  length,  shoot  weight, 
shoot length, root plus shoot weight, ratio of shoot/root characteristics, indicating a greater environmental influence, reducing response to possible phenotypic selection. The high heritability (h2h2) presented in most variables suggests that the phenotype reflects the genotype showing ease in the selection of studied varieties. The high heritability also points the presence of sufficient genetic variation to obtain additional gains by selecting on these varieties. According to Rodrigues et al. (2011), the GCV for maize, in Brazilian conditions, over 7%, indicates a good germplasm genetic potential to be used in breeding. 
According to results, it was found that both the genetic variance (Vg) and genetic gain (GA) had     different   values    within   the   same population for a given characteristic, showing that even having presented a high heritability; the environment may have influenced the variables in low to moderate genetic gains.



The Catingueiro variety, in general, presents better physiological quality among the others, which indicates that there is genetic variability with high heritability and possible genetic gain, and therefore is important their conservation, collection and subsequent evaluation in plant breeding programs in the Southwest Region of Bahia.


The author(s) have not declared any conflict of Interest.


To FAPESB and CAPES and by the granting of the scholarship.


Bespalhok Filho JC, Guerra EP Oliveira RA (2005). Noções de genética quantitativa. Disponível em: 
Cargin A, Souza MA, De Carneiro PCS, Sofiatti V (2006) Interação entre genótipos e ambientes e implicações em ganhos com seleção em trigo. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira, Brasília 41(6):987-993.
Carvalho SP, De Custódio TN, Baliza DP, Rezende TT (2012). Meta- análise para estimativas de herdabilidade de caracteres vegetativos e reprodutivos de Coffea arábica L. Semina: Ciências Agrárias, Londrina, 33(4):1291-1298.
Catão RCH, Costa M, Valadares FM, Dourado SV, Brandao ER, Junior DS, Sales MLB (2010). Qualidade física, fisiológica e sanitária de sementes de milho crioulo produzidas no nortede Minas Gerais.Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, 40(10):2060-2066.
Companhia Nacional De Abastecimento. Acompanhamento de safra brasileira: grãos, Quarto levantamento, janeiro.2011 Brasília: Conab, 2011. Disponível em:
Costa RQ, Moreira GLB, Soares MRS, Vasconcelos RC, Morais OM (2013). Qualidade fisiológica de sementes de milho crioulo e comerciais semeadas na região do Sudoeste da Bahia. Enciclopédia Biosfera, Centro Cientifico Conhecer, Goiana 9(16):1873-1880.
Ferreira DF (2010). Sistema de análise de variância -SISVAR. Versão 5.3. Lavras-MG: UFLA.
Gondim TCO, Rocha VS, Santos MM, Miranda GV (2006). Avaliação da qualidade fisiológica de sementes de milho – crioulo sob estresse causado por baixo nível de nitrogênio. Revista Ceres, Viçosa 53(307):413-417.
Hung H, Shannon LM, Tian F, Bradbury PJ, Chen C, Flint-Garcia SA, Mcmullen MD, Ware D, Buckler ES, Doebley JF, Holland JB (2012). Zmcct and the genetic basis of day-length adaptation underlying the postdomestication spread of maize. PNAS, Published online June 18.
Instituto Brasileiro De Geografia E Estatística - Ibge. Sistema IBGEde recuperação automática – SIDRA. Disponível em: 
Johnson HW, Robinson HF, Comstock RE (1955). Estimates of genetic and environmental variability in soybeans. Agron. J. 47:314-318.
Martin TN, Tomazella AL, Cícero SM, Dourado Neto D, Favarin JL, Vieira Júnior PA (2007). Questões Relevantes na Produção de Sementes de Milho- Primeira Parte. Revista da FZVA, Uruguaiana 14(1):119-138,
Mundstock CM, Silva PRF (2005). Evolução dos altos rendimentos de grãos. In: Manejo da cultura do milho para altos rendimentos de grãos. Porto Alegre. Evangraf. pp. 9-11.
Oliveira ACS, Martins GN, Silva RF, Vieira HD (2009.). Teste de vigor em sementes baseados no desempenho de plântulas. Rev. Científica Int. 2(4):1-21.
Oyiga BC, Uguru MI (2010). Genetic variations and contributions of some floral traits to pod yield in Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean L. Verde) under two cropping seasons in the derived savanna of the South-East Nig. Int. J. Plant Breed. 5(1):58-63.
Resende MDV, De Souza S.M.; Higa AR, Stein PP (1991). Estudos da variação genética e métodos de seleção e teste de progênies de Acacia mearnsii no Rio Grande do Sul. Boletim de Pesquisa Florestal, Colombo, n. 22/23, pp.45-59.
Rodrigues F, Von Pinho RG, Albuquerque CJB, Von Pinho EVR (2011). Índice de seleção e estimativa de parâmetros genéticos e fenotípicos para características relacionadas com a produção de milho-verde. Ciência eAgrotecnologia, Lavras, 35(2):278-286.
Sunday OF, Ayodele AM, Babatunde KO, Oluwole AM (2007). Genotypic And Phenotypic Variability For Seed Vigour Traits And Seed Yield In West African Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes. J. Am. Sci. 3 (3):34-41.
Vencovsky R (1987). Tamanho efetivo populacional na coleta e preservação de germoplasma de espécies alógamas. IPEF, Piracicaba 35:79-84.