The current study was initiated to estimate the magnitude of standard heterosis for grain yield and yield related traits in a line x tester hybrids and to classify the inbred lines into different heterotic groups. Fifty entries consisting of 48 testcrosses developed from 12 inbred lines and 4 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 at Ambo and Holeta Agricultural Research Center in 2018 cropping season. Analysis of variance revealed highly significant mean squares due to genotypes for all traits. Site variance showed highly significant mean squares for all traits except ear height. Genotype x site interaction was significant for grain yield, days to silking, bad husk cover and ear aspect. Cross L11 x T4 exhibited maximum standard heterosis over the checks (Kolba and Jibat) for grain yield followed by L9 x T4. In addition, these hybrids showed negative standard heterosis for plant height and ear aspect. The study also proposed eight inbred lines to be assigned to one of the different heterotic groups (A and B). The current study revealed that extensive works needs to be done in broadening the genetic base for highland maize breeding program to develop higher yielding varieties for the target areas.
Key words: Heterotic grouping, Inbreed lines, standard heterosis, testers.
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