Chukwu S. Chibuike, Emmanuel O. Okporie, Lynda G. Ekwu, Godwin C. Onyishi, Andrew C. Nwogbaga


The study was aimed at sourcing and characterizing genotypes from different parts of Ebonyi State for use in future maize breeding. Therefore, conscious expeditions were made to the old 13 local government areas (LGAs) of Ebonyi State (Abakaliki, Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ebonyi, Ezza North, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ivo, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu and Onicha). In each LGA, at least two cobs of each maize genotype were collected from their local market. A total of 26 local maize cultivars were collected. The maize genotypes collected from the 13 local councils were characterized based on location, seed colour, seed type, cob length, cob circumference, number of rows per cob, number of seeds per row, 100 seed weight (g) at 15.5% moisture content, kernel density (g/cm3) at 15.5% moisture content. After characterization, equal quantities of the samples were made from the 26 genotypes and taken to the laboratory for chemical analyses of nutritional contents such as percentage crude protein, oil, amylose and amylopectin. Results obtained showed that Ishiotu I and II both from Afikpo North had the longest cob length, cob circumference and number rows per cob. Ikwo yellow had the highest 100 seed weight and there is no doubt that this would result to higher grain yield. Significant and positive correlation were found between cob circumference and number of rows per cob (r = 0.526**). Number of seeds per row were also found to be significantly and positively correlated with cob length (r = 0.634**) and cob circumference (r = 0.458*). Kernel density was found to be significantly and positively correlated with amylose (r = 0.465*). It was also discovered that amylose had significant and negative correlation with amylopectin (r = -0.995**). Protein correlated positively with oil (r = 0.133), but was not significant. However, Ikwo yellow recorded the highest protein content of 8.06%. The low protein content in some other genotypes presents a great challenge to plant breeders in form of quality improvement. It was therefore concluded that maize genotypes for any breeding and/or improvement for agronomic and quality traits should necessarily include samples from Afikpo North and Ikwo LGAs of Ebonyi State. Also, these areas should be considered for both extensive and intensive cultivation of maize in furtherance of the present administration’s transformation agenda on agriculture.


Maize, genotypes collection, characterization, agronomic traits, chemical contents

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Journal of Plant Breeding and Genetics
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