Extra-early maize (Zea mays L) tolerant to low-N and drought could stabilize yields in sub-Saharan Africa. Studies were conducted under drought and low-N conditions in Nigeria for three years to determine the potential of 90 extra-early inbreds for hybrid production and evaluate the performance of 36 hybrids derived from the inbreds under drought at flowering and grain-filling periods and well-watered conditions. Results showed significant genotypic mean squares for grain yield and most other traits of the inbreds under drought and/or low-N conditions. TZEEI6, TZEEI4, TZEEI36, and TZEEI38 were identified as ideal inbreds under drought. Under low-N, TZEEI19, TZEEI96 and TZEEI45 were top ranking with TZEEI19 as the ideal inbred. TZEEI19, TZEEI29, TZEEI56, TZEEI38, and TZEEI79 were tolerant to both stresses. Eighteen of the 36 hybrids produced above-average yields across environments with four hybrids identified as very stable. TZEEI29 x TZEEI21 was the closest to the ideal genotype because it combines large mean performance with high yield stability. Hybrid yield under drought had large positive correlation with grain yield under well-watered environments. Selection for inbred traits such as days to silking and anthesis-silking interval under drought predicted fairly accurately hybrid yield under well-watered environments. It was concluded that extra-early inbreds and hybrids are not only drought escaping but also possess drought and low-N tolerant genes.
Badu-Apraku, B.; Fakorede, M.A.B.; Oyenkunle, M.; Akinwale, R.O. Selection of extra-early maize inbreds under low N and drought atflowering and grain-filling for hybrid production. Maydica (2011) 56: 29-41.