Diallel mixed-model analyses to select superior maize parental lines for Azospirillum brasilense and nitrogen-use efficiency

Abstract Breeding new maize varieties that take up more N from the soil and increase N fixation is a crucial source of combined nitrogen in agricultural systems. Thus, this study aimed to select superior maize parental lines efficient in the use of nitrogen and Azospirillum brasilense. Three experiments were conducted in two agricultural seasons aiming to allocate all diallel hybrids in three different nitrogen conditions. The experiments were performed in a RCB design with two replications, and the diallel was analyzed using the mixed model approach. The general combining ability and Azospirillum use efficiency were applied to select the best parental line. The most promising hybrid combinations were “I-08 x II-06”, “I-02 x II-04”, and “I-01 x II-02”. Parents involved were selected for the development of hybrids. Parents I-01, I-02, I-08, II-01, II-02, II-04, II-05, and II-06 were selected to explore the basic population in the A. brasilense-use efficiency breeding program.