Mass selection (MS) is an efficient selection method to directly improve highly heritable traits. In the present study, two cycles of MS for ear length were conducted on two sweet corn populations, BC2-10 and BC1-10Syn-II after introgression of exotic germplasm. The improved populations generated from these selections were evaluated in comparison with the base populations at two locations, to determine the genetic gains and performance of the improved populations. The two base populations showed varied average realized responses to MS. In BC2-10 derived population, the realized responses were 9.1% in BC2-10 C1 and 1.2% in BC2-10 C2, whereas in BC1-10Syn-II derived population, the realized responses were 5.6% in BC1-10Syn-II C1 and 2.9% in BC1-10Syn-II C2. All the improved populations showed longer ears than their respective base populations and the check varieties. Ear length, which was used as the selection criterion in this study, showed high broad-sense heritability in the BC2-10 and BC1-10Syn-II derived populations, while fresh ear yield revealed low heritability, indicating that selection for ear length in these populations would be more effective than direct selection for yield. Results of this study indicate that MS conducted on BC2-10 and BC1-10Syn-II had significantly increased ear length and fresh ear yield in both populations. The improved populations obtained would serve as better germplasm sources and further selection in these populations could offer better responses.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION