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  1. Vol. 23 No. 3, p. 493-496
     
    Received: Apr 2, 1982
    Published: May, 1983


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doi:10.2135/cropsci1983.0011183X002300030013x

Effect of the Brown Midrib-Allele on Maize Silage Quality and Yield1

  1. J. E. Miller,
  2. J. L. Geadelmann and
  3. G. C. Marten2

Abstract

Abstract

High digestible dry matter yield is desired by maize (Zea mays L.) silage producers. The brown midrlb-3 mutant (bm3) improves the digestibility of maize stover but reduces grain and fodder yields of homozygous bm3 genotypes. Our objective was to estimate the relative genetic potential for improvement of silage quality and yield in bm3 and normal maize populations. A total of 130 bm3 and normal 130 S1 lines were developed from three populations segregating for the bm3 allele. All 260 $1 lines were evaluated at two Minnesota locations in 1978. In 1979, 64 bm3 64 normal S1 lines, and 24 bm3 and 24 normal S1 ✕ S1 hybrids were evaluated at three locations.The bm3 genotypes averaged 77% of the grain yield, 90% of the stover yield and 84% of the fodder yield of the normal genotypes. Some bm3 genotypes produced as much stover as the best normal genotypes. However, no bm3 genotypes produced as much grain or fodder as the best normal genotypes. The normal genotypes yielded 16% more digestible dry matter than the bm3 genotypes. Estimates of genetic variability and predicted genetic gain for digestible dry matter yield were similar for bm3 and normal populations. Even though bm3 germplasm offers a substantial advantage in stover digestibility, our results indicate normal populations of maize may offer more potential for silage breeding programs.

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