Performances of three-way cross hybrids over their respective single crosses and related heterosis of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids evaluated in Ethiopia
Less attention had been given to the performances of three-way crosses and its comparative advantages of these hybrids over single crosses. This study was carried out to evaluate the performances of three-way crosses in comparison to single crosses for yield and related agronomic traits and to estimate the magnitude of heterosis. The trial was laid out in a simple alpha lattice design of 10 × 6 for lines, 6 × 5 for single crosses (SC), and 9 × 5 for three way-crosses and planted in adjacent plots in the 2019 cropping season in three locations namely Ambo, Abala-Farcha and Melkassa. Single cross hybrids showed a highly significant (P<1%) variation for grain yield, plant height, ear height, and ear length at three locations. These single cross hybrids had showed also a highly significant genotype by environment interaction (P < 1%) for grain yield, plant height, ear height and kernel per ear. Regarding three-way crosses, there was a significant variation (P<5%) on grain yield in Ambo and Melkassa but on ear height and rows per ear in Abala-Faracho. The genotype × environment interaction was significantly varied for grain yield, ear height and ear length. In the comparison, 80% crosses in Ambo, 73% in Abala-Faracho and 67% in Melkassa showed that three-way crosses were better in their performance than that of their respective single crosses. On the other hand, the single crosses that out-performed their respective three-way crosses were higher in Melkassa than Abala-Faracho and the least were reported from Ambo. Similarly, the maximum better and mid-parent heterosis was from single cross 1(769%) in Ambo and single cross 7 (104%) in Melkassa whereas TWC 14 (52%) and TWC 24 (78%) were the highest better and mid-parent heterosis, respectively in Ambo, TWC1 (56%), and TWC30 (25%) were the highest BPH, and MPH, respectively in Melkassa.