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Inheritance of Striga hermonthica adaptive traits in an early-maturing white maize inbred line containing resistance genes from Zea diploperennis
Striga hermonthica can cause as high as 100% yield loss in maize depending on soil fertility level, type of genotype, severity of infestation and climatic conditions. Understanding the mode of inheritance of Striga resistance in maize is crucial for introgression of resistance genes into tropical germplasm and deployment of resistant varieties. This study examined the mode of inheritance of resistance to Striga in earlymaturing inbred line, TZdEI 352 containing resistance genes from Zea diploperennis. Six generations, P1, P2, F1, F2, BC1P1 and BC1P2 derived from a cross between resistant line, TZdEI 352 and susceptible line, TZdEI 425 were screened under artificial Striga infestation at Mokwa and Abuja, Nigeria, 2015. Additive‐dominance model was adequate in describing observed variations in the number of emerged Striga plants among the population; hence, digenic epistatic model was adopted for Striga damage. Dominance effects were higher than the additive effects for the number of emerged Striga plants at both locations signifying that non‐additive gene action conditioned inheritance of Striga resistance. Inbred TZdEI 352 could serve as invaluable parent for hybrid development in Striga endemic agro‐ecologies of sub‐Saharan Africa.