Evaluation of Drought Tolerant Top Cross and Three-Way Cross Maize Hybrids for Grain Yield and Related Traits in Three Agro-Ecological Zones of Southwest Nigeria

  • Lawrence FAYEUN Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State (NG)
  • Sayo SESAY Crop Improvement Program, Rokupr Agricultural Research Center, Rokupr - Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute, PMB 1313, Tower Hill, Freetown (SL)
Keywords: drought tolerance; grain yield; hybrids; three-way cross; top-cross


Superiority of hybrid maize cannot be overemphasized. Different types of hybrids are developed by plant breeders to improve productivity and multi-locational evaluation of these hybrids prior to release is necessary to select the best. The objectives of this study were to identify maize hybrids with superior agronomic potentials and compare the performance of top-cross and three-way cross hybrid maize varieties for grain yield and related traits under rain-fed condition in three different locations (Abeokuta, Ibadan and Akure) of Southwest Nigeria. The study consisted of ten hybrids each of top-cross and three-way cross hybrid varieties, tested with two checks. At each location, the experiment was laid out in randomised complete block design with three replications. The results showed that effects of locations, genotypes and genotype x location interactions were highly significant (p<0.01) for all the traits evaluated. Significant differences were also revealed between the top-cross and three-way cross hybrids for all the traits evaluated except days to 50% tasseling, ear diameter and 100-grain weight. The top-cross hybrids were superior over the three-way cross hybrids for grain yield by 5.25%. The hybrids ‘M0926-7’, ‘M0926-8’, ‘M1026-11’, ‘M1026-3’, ‘M1226-2’ (top-cross hybrids), ‘M1124-24’, ‘M1124-27’, ‘M1124-31’, ‘M1227-6’ and ‘M1227-7’ (three-way cross hybrids) showed highest stable yields across the three locations.  Hybrids ‘M0926-7’ (top-cross hybrid) and ‘M1124-24’ (three-way cross hybrid) that expressed early flowering with higher grain yield are recommended for drought stress prone areas because of their abilities to tolerate drought through escape.


Metrics Loading ...


Ajibade SR, Ogunbodede BA (2000). AMMI analysis of maize yield trials in south-western Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Genetics 15(1):22-28.

Bãnziger M, Edemeades GO, Beck D, Bellon M (2000). Breeding for drought and nitrogen stress tolerance in maize: from theory to practice. Mexico, DF CIMMYT.

Byrne PF, Bolanos J, Edmeades GO, Eaton DL (1995). Gains from selection under drought versus multilocation testing in related tropical maize populations. Crop Science 35(1):63-69.

CIMMYT, IITA (2010). Maize-global alliance for improving food security and livelihoods of the resource-poor in the developing world. Draft proposal submitted by CIMMYT and IITA to the CGIAR Comortium Board. E I Batan, Mexico, pp 9.

Dowswell CR, Paliwal RL, Cantrell RP (1996). Maize in the third world. Oxford: Westview Press.

Emygdio BM, Ignaczak JC, Filho AC (2007). Yield potential of single, three-way and double cross commercial hybrids maize. Revista Brasileira Milho Sorgo 6:95-103.

FAO (2010). Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FAO statistical database.

FAOSTAT 2013. Statistical databases on global food production and trade. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

Fayeun LS, Alake GC, Akinlolu AO (2016). GGE biplot analysis of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) landraces evaluated for marketable leaf yield in Southwest Nigeria. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences 17(4):416-423.

Iken JE, Amusa NA (2004). Maize research and production in nigeria. African Journal of Biotechnology 3(6):302-307.

Ininda J, Gichuru L, Njuguna JGM, Lorroki P (2006). Performance of three-way cross hybrids for agronomic traits and resistance to maize streak virus disease in Kenya. African Crop Science Journal 14 (4):287-296.

Izge AU, Dugje IY (2011). Performance of drought tolerance three-way and top-cross maize hybrids in Sudan savanna of North Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science 3(11):669-675.

Kim SK, Fajemisin JM, Fakorede MAB, Iken JE (1993). Maize improvement in Nigeria - hybrid performance in the savannah zone. In: Fakorede MAB, Alofe CO, Kim SK (eds). Maize improvement, production and utilization in Nigeria. Maize Association of Nigeria pp 15-39.

Oduwaye OA, Ojo DK, Alake CO (2013). Using genotype plus genotype × environment (GGE) bi-plot analysis to identify promising amaranth accessions in Western Nigeria. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 88(5):543-550.

Ogunbodede BA, Ajibade SR, Olakojo SA (2001). Grain yield stability of new maize varieties in Nigeria. African Crop Science Journal 9(4):685-691.

Oliveira GHF, Oliveira Jr. EA, Amhold E (2012). Comparison of types of maize cultivars for grain yield. Revista Caatinga 25(2):29-34.

Paliwal RL (2000). Hybrid maize breeding. In: Paliwal RL, Granador H, Lafitte HR, Violic AD (Eds). Tropical maize improvement and production. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Rahman H, Khalil IH, Noor Islam, Durrishahwar, Rafi A (2007). Comparison of original and selected maize population for grain yield traits: Sarhad Journal of Agriculture 23(3):641-644.

Santos MX, Lopes MA, Coelho AM, Guimarães PEO, Parentoni SN, Gama EEG, França GE (2006). Drought and low N status limiting maize production in Brazil. Developing drought- and low N tolerant maize proceedings of a symposium. March 25-29, 1996, CIMMYT, El Batán, Mexico.

SAS Institute, (2000). Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) user’s guide version 9.1. SAS Institute Inc Cary NC USA.

Teodoro PE, da Silver Jr. CA, Correa CC, Ribeiro LP, de Oliveira EP, Lima MF, Torres FE (2014). Path analysis and correlation of two genetic classes of maize (Zea mays L.). Journal of Agronomy 13(1):23-28.

Yan W, Tinker NA (2006). Biplot analysis of multi environment trial data: principles and applications. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 86(3):623-645.

How to Cite
FAYEUN, L., & SESAY, S. (2019). Evaluation of Drought Tolerant Top Cross and Three-Way Cross Maize Hybrids for Grain Yield and Related Traits in Three Agro-Ecological Zones of Southwest Nigeria. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 11(3), 414-421. https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb11310338
Research articles
DOI: 10.15835/nsb11310338