Development of seed production technology of CIMMYT tropical single cross maize hybrids
Medium and small seed companies require information on maize parental seed production to make rational choices on what germplasm to introduce into their seed and breeding pipelines. The objective of this study was to generate public data on the appropriate hybrid seed production information of five female lines (T21, T26, T28, T33 and T38) and one line (T10) as a male hybrid parent. The effect of female and male sowing date and sowing density on hybrid seed production characteristics including flowering time, flowering duration, distance between tassel and stigmas and effective seed yield was determined. Recommendations to stagger male and female sowing to achieve flowering synchrony for the hybrid parents were complemented with data of seedling growth stages. The results were similar for T21, T26, T28, and T38; sowing the female and T10 on a row proportion of 4 females:1 male, and on a second date, when the coleoptiles of the female plants are halfway to emerge, sowing the missing male row to complete the 4:2 ratio. T33 is a late flowering line, therefore it is desirable to sow T33 first and T10 five days later, or when the T33 coleoptile begins to emerge. Plant densities did not cause differences in most plant characteristics. Line T21 showed good female parental traits. While this study provides a knowledge framework for seed production technology for these single cross hybrids, data specific to seed production regions need to be generated by seed companies to define the best regimes for hybrid production.