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  • 1 Democritus University of Thrace Department of Agricultural Development Pantazidou 193 Orestiada 68200 Greece
  • 2 Aristotelian Univ. of Thessaloniki Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding Thessaloniki 54124 Greece
  • 3 Technological Education Institute of W. Macedonia/Branch of Florina Florina 53100 Greece
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The effect of inbreeding on yield potential per plant and the load of deleterious genes in maize ( Zea mays L.) were studied. Twelve recycled hybrids obtained though inbreeding and selection on the basis line performance per se , along with their original hybrid PR 3183 and the check hybrid B73×Mo17, were tested in a R28 honeycomb trial under very low density (0.74 plants/m 2 ). Inbreeding depression was related with reduced yield potential per plant and increased CV of individual plant yield (estimated in F 1 and F 3 ), as well as with increased heterosis. The recycled hybrids were found to have improved yield potential per plant in both F 1 and F 3 , lower CV values in F 3 , and lower inbreeding depression. Results were indicative of the effective exploitation of the additive genetic effects, which reduced the load of deleterious genes, and produced less heterozygous hybrids that were characterized by improved yield potential per plant.

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