The objective of the study was to perform breeding characteristics of maize test crosses with paternal line 26A from different maturity groups and genetic background by means of the combined application of the methods of cluster analysis and analysis of the components in order to improve the breeding work with them.
The analysis was conducted on 10 breeding traits, reported over a 3-year period.
Hybrids (AA156 x 26A) and (AB124 x 26A) were suitable for inclusion in breeding schemes, as donors of the trait “leaf length”, and (LRL104 x 26A) and (AM21 x 26A) crosses – for the trait “width of the leaf”.
Hybrid (LRL103 x 26A) cross could be used as a donor of the traits “number of rows” and “kernel weight per ear”, and showed 18 rows and 172.7 g kernel weight per ear on average.
Hybrid (AM21 x 26A) cross was a complex carrier of genes for the traits: kernel length, 1,000-kernel weight and kernel weight – 11.3 mm, 273.3 g and 177.3 g, respectively. Regarding the trait “length of a maize ear”, (BG110 x 26A) cross was the best one – 22.8 cm, and (BG110 x 26A) cross was the best one for the trait “height of the top maize ear” – 96.7 cm. Hybrid (LRL102 x 26A) and (LRL101 x 26A) crosses were used to reduce the time of emergence – silking period, to 56 days.
The crosses from the first and sixth groups belonged to the genetically outermost groups. The inclusion of crosses of the two groups in a general population would be the most effective.The joint implementation of cluster analysis and Principal Component Analysis showed that the most effective breeding work would be that directed to breeding of the following traits: emergence – silking, height of the top maize ear, length of the maize ear, length of the maize ear leaf and total plant height.