|GOLDSTEIN, WALTER - Michael Fields Agricultural Institute|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: There is some renewed interest in open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) and open-pollinated varietal hybrids (OPVhs) of corn, especially among organic and low-input farmers, due to their stable yield and broad adaptation as compared with hybrid corn. In addition, open-pollinated varietal hybrids may have better drought tolerance, prolificacy, superior quality, and nutritional value as livestock feed, and human food. We estimated and partitioned total phenotypic variance into its components, quantified population structure, and estimated phenotypic diversity, and broad-sense heritability of 35 plant, ear, and kernel traits in 46 open-pollinated varietal hybrids grown under four environments. Large levels of population differentiation are available in these varietal hybrids, especially for reproductive traits. Above average values for phenotypic diversity indices, frequency of desirable trait variants, and variation among varietal hybrids were found for almost all phenotypic traits. We identified varietal hybrids with large grain yield potential associated with small variability across environments, along with the phenotypic traits contributing to this large and stable yield. The information on the variability available in these varietal hybrids and their breeding potential is of value for corn breeders in pursuing breeding and selection objectives for organic and low-input farming and for farmers to stabilize yield through increased diversity on the farm.