Journal of Innovative Agriculture, Volume 8, Issue 2 : 67-74. Doi : 10.37446/jinagri/rsa/8.2.2021.67-74
Research Article

OPEN ACCESS | Published on : 30-Jun-2021

Genetic analysis and genotype x environment interaction for resistance to northern leaf blight disease in tropical maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes

  • Akinlolu Ohunakin
  • Department of Crop Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.


Northern leaf blight (NLB) disease one of the most devastating foliar diseases of maize accounting for more than 50% yield losses annually. Information on inheritance of NLB resistance of maize population adaptable to tropical environments is required. Thus, hybrids generated through 10 x 10 half-diallel of tropical maize inbred lines were evaluated in five environments to determine their combining ability, impact of NLB disease on grain yield, and genotype x environment (G x E). The 45 single cross F1 hybrids and nine hybrid checks were evaluated across five environments using 9 x 6 alpha lattice with three replications. The greater proportion of general combining ability (GCA) over specific combining ability (SCA) effects across environments implies that additive gene action influences the inheritance of these traits. Predominance of additive gene indicates that rapid progress would be achieved from selection for NLB disease resistance. Regression analysis revealed 1030–1130 kg ha-1 reduction in maize grain yield per increase in NLB severity score. Significant negative relationships (r = -0.33 to -0.77) were reported between grain yield and NLB severity scores in this study. This showed the potential of NLB to cause yield reduction in susceptible genotypes. GGE revealed that the test environments fell into two sectors, indicating the existence of two mega-environments and presence of significant crossover interaction.


maize, northern leaf blight disease, gca, sca, regression


  • Baker, R. J. (1978). Issues in diallel analysis. Crop science, 18(4), 533-536.

    Carson, M. L. (1995). Inheritance of latent period length in maize infected with Exserohilum turcicum.

    Carson, M. L., Goodman, M. M., & Williamson, S. M. (2002). Variation in aggressiveness among

    isolates of Cercospora from maize as a potential cause of genotype-environment interaction in gray leaf spot trials. Plant Disease, 86(10), 1089-1093.

    CIMMYT(1985). Managing trials and reporting data for CIMMYT International Maize Testing Program. CIMMYT, Mexico.

    CIMMYT. (2004). Maize inbred lines released by CIMMYT: a compilation of 454 CIMMYT maize lines (CMLs), CML1–CML454. August 2001. Second Draft. CIMMYT, Mexico.

    Egesi C.N, Onyeka T.J, & Asiedu, R. (2009). Environmental stability of resistance to anthracnose and virus diseases of water yam (Dioscorea alata). African Journal of Agricultural Research, 4,113–118.

    FAO and CIMMYT.1997. White Maize: A traditional food grain in developing countries. July 2006.

    Gordon, S. G., Lipps, P. E., & Pratt, R. C. (2006). Heritability and components of resistance to Cercospora zeaemaydis derived from maize inbred VO613Y. Phytopathology, 96(6), 593-598.

    Hakiza, J.J., Lipps, P.E., Martin, S.S., & Pratt, R.C. (2004). Heritability and number of genes controllingpartial resistance to Exserohilum turcicum in maize inbred H99. Maydica, 49(3), 173-182.

    Hallauer, A.R.,& Miranda, J.B.(1988). Quantitative Genetics in Maize Breeding. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA.

    Hung, H.Y., & Holland, J.B. (2012). Diallel analysis of resistance to Fusarium ear rot and fumonisin contamination in maize. Crop Science, 52 (5), 2173-2181.

    Jain, J. P. (1982). Statistical Techniques in Quantitative Genetics. New Delhi: Tata Mc. Graw Hills Pub. Co. Ltd.

    Kang,M.S.(1996). Using genotype-by-environment interaction for crop cultivar development. Advance Agrononomy 62, 199–252.

    Levy Y. (1991). Variation in fitness among field isolates of Exserohilum turcicum in Israel. Plant disease, 75, 163-166.

    Levy,Y.,& Pataky, J.K. (1992). Epidemiology of northern leaf blight on sweet corn. Phytoparasitica, 20(1), 53-66.

    Lipps P.E. (1998). Gray leaf spot: a global threat to corn production. APSnet Features. Online. oi:10.1094/APSnetFeature-1998-0598. Pages/GrayLeafSpot.aspx. Accessed 18 February 2021.

    Menkir A & Ayodele M. (2005). Genetic analysis of resistance to gray leaf spot of mid-altitude maize inbred lines. Crop Science 45:163–170.

    META-R v6.03 software package: (Multi Environment Trial Analysis with R for Windows version 6.03.

    Ohunakin A.O (2021). Estimates of Combining Abilities and Components of Variances of Tropical Maize Genotypes under Northern Leaf Blight Disease Infection. Advance Crop Science, Technology, 9, 459.

    Ohunakin, A.O., Odiyi, A.C., & Akinyele, B.O. (2020). Genetic variance components and GGE interaction of tropical maize genotypes under Northern leaf blight disease infection. Cereal Research Communications, 1-7.

    Pratt R.C & Gordon S.G. (2006). Breeding for resistance to maize foliar pathogens. Plant Breeding, Reviews, 27, 119.

    SAS Institute. (2002). SAS/STAT User’s Guide, version 9.2, SAS Institute Incorporated, Cary, North Carolina, USA.

    SAS Institute. (2008). Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) user’s guide. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary.

    Schechert, A.W., Geiger, H.H. & Welz, H.G. (1997). Generation means and combining ability analysis of resistance to Setosphaeria turcica in African maize. In: Proceedings of the 5th Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Maize Conference, Arusha, 211-218.

    Sigulas, K.M., Hill, R.R., & Ayers, J. E. (1988). Genetic analysis of Exserohilum turcicum lesion expansion on corn. Phytopathology, 78,149-153.

    Sharma R.C, & Payak M.M. (1990). Durable resistance to two leaf blights in two maize inbred lines. TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 80, 542-544.

    Sibiya J, Pangirayi T, Derera J & Neil van Rij .(2012). Genetic analysis and genotype × environment (G×E) for grey leaf spot disease resistance in elite African maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm. Euphytica (2012) 185:349-362 DOI 10.1007/s10681-011-0466-2.

    Silva, A.R., Souza Jr. C.L., Aguiardan A.M. & de Souza A.P. (2004). Estimates of GeneticVariance and Level of Dominance in a Tropical Maize Population. I. Grain Yield and Plant Traits. Maydica, 49, 65 – 71.

    Stansfield, W.D. (1991). Theory and Problems of Genetics. Mc. Graw Hills, Book Company.

    Vieira R.A, Scapim C.A, Moterle L.M, Tessmann D.J, & Conrado T.V. (2009). Diallel analysis of leaf disease resistance in inbred Brazilian popcorn cultivars. Genetics and Molecular Research, 8, 1427-1436.

    Vivek, B.S, Odongo, O., Njuguna, J., Imanywoha, J., Bigirwa, G., Diallo, A. & Pixley, K. (2009). Diallel analysis of grain yield and resistance to seven diseases of 12 African maize (Zea maysL.) inbred lines. Online publication. Euphytica DOI10.1007/s10681-009-9993-5.

    Vivek B.S, Odongo O, Njuguna J, Imanywoha J, Bigirwa G, Diallo A, & Pixley K .(2010). Diallel analysis of grain yield and resistance to seven diseases of 12 African maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines. Euphytica, 172, 329–340.

    Wannows, A.A., Azzam H.K. & Al-Ahmad S. A..(2010). Genetic Variances, Heritability, Correlation and Path Coefficient Analysis in Yellow Maize Crosses (Zea mays L.). Agriculture and Biology, Journal of North America, 1 (4), 630 – 637.

    Ward J.M.J, Hohls T, Laing M.D, & Rijkenberg F.H.J .(1996). Fungicide responses of maize hybrids and grey leaf spot. European Journal of Plant Pathology 102:765–771

    Ward J.M.J, Stromberg E.L, Nowell D.C, & Nutter F.W Jr .(1999). Gray leaf spot: a disease of global importance in maize production. Plant Disease 83:884–895

    Welz H.G, & Geiger H.H. (2000). Genes for resistance to northern corn leaf blight in diverse Maize populations. Plant Breeding, 119, 1-14.

    Thompson D.L, Bergquist R.R, Payne G.A, Bowman D.T, & Goodman M.M. (1987). Inheritance of  resistance to gray leaf spot in maize. Crop Science, 27, 243–246.

    Ulrich J.F, Hawk J.A, & Carroll R.B. (1990). Diallel analysis of maize inbreds for resistance to gray leaf spot. Crop Science,  30, 1198–1200

    Yan W, Hunt L.A, Sheng Q, & Szlavnics Z .(2000). Cultivar evaluation and mega-environment investigation based on the GGE Biplot. Crop Science, 40, 597–605

    Yan W.(2002). Singular-value partitioning in biplot analysis of multi-environmental trial data. Agronomy Journal, 94, 990–996.

    Yan W, Kang B.M, Woods S, & Cornelius P.L.(2007). GGE biplot vs. AMMI analysis of genotype-by-genotype environment data. Crop Science, 47, 643–655.

    Yan, W., & I. Rajcan (2002). Biplot evaluation of test sites and trait relations of soybean in Ontario. Crop Science, 42, 11-20.

    Zhang Y, & Kang MS.(1997). DIALLEL-SAS: a SAS program for Griffing’s diallel analyses. Agronomy Journal, 89, 176–182.

    Zhang Y, Kang MS, & Lamkey K.R (2005). Diallel-SAS05: a comprehensive program for Griffing’s and Gardner- Eberhart analyses. Agronomy Journal, 97, 1097–1106.