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Maize is among major field crops which provides food, fodder and various byproducts to the industry. Development of better performing varieties is very important to enhance and strengthen the maize production system. In this study ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) is used to induce genetic variation in maize. Mutant population was derived from two genotypes 100,003 and 100,004. EMS was applied under three different concentrations of 25, 50 and 75 mM. 25 mM was found as an ideal concentration resulting in maximum survival rate. Total 10 SSRs were used in this study, which amplified 28 alleles with average of 2.7 alleles. Analysis of molecular variance showed significant differences present among individuals. Average heterozygosity for mutants derived from 100,003 and 100,004 was 0.58 and 0.53, respectively. UPGMA analysis characterized the mutants into two main and many sub clusters. According to the principal component analysis, PC 1 and 2 contributed to 64.2% variability with eigenvalue greater than 1. Statistics showed maximum coefficients of variance in traits of leaf area, cobb height and plant height. Promising mutants were also identified and recommended for future breeding programme. In conclusion, EMS mutagenesis is an effective technique to develop novel mutants that can be exploited in future breeding programmes.
Drought is a devastating factor for crop production worldwide. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to study genetics for some agro-physiological traits in cotton under drought stress. The 13 parental cotton genotypes along with their 30 F1 hybrids were planted under normal and drought conditions. The mean performance of the genotypes was assessed through principal component and heat map analyses. The principal component analyses revealed 53.99 and 53.15% in the first two principal components of variability for normal and drought conditions, respectively. Heat map analysis revealed that three cotton genotypes i.e. FH-207 × NS-131, FH-207 × KZ-191 and S-15 × AA-703 attained higher values for all the traits except for canopy temperature under drought conditions. These crosses may proliferate to further filial generations to identify transgressive segregates for drought tolerance. The heritable differences of F̅1 and mid-parent showed dominance and non-additive gene action under drought conditions. Heritable differences between F̅1 and P̅1 showed over dominance and partial dominance under drought conditions. Heritable differences between F̅1 and P̅2 indicated negative over dominance and partial dominance for all traits under drought conditions. Proline contents and the bolls per plant showed high heritability and genetic advance through additive gene action. Therefore, these two traits can be used as a means of selection in future breeding programmes of drought tolerance.
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