Genotype × environment (G × E) interaction effects are of special interest for identifying the most suitable genotypes with respect to target environments, representative locations and other specific stresses. Twenty-two advanced breeding lines contributed by the national partners of the Salinity Tolerance Breeding Network (STBN) along with four checks were evaluated across 12 different salt affected sites comprising five coastal saline and seven alkaline environments in India. The study was conducted to assess the G × E interaction and stability of advanced breeding lines for yield and yield components using additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model. In the AMMI1 biplot, there were two mega-environments (ME) includes ME-A as CARI, KARAIKAL, TRICHY and NDUAT with winning genotype CSR 2K 262; and ME-B as KARSO, LUCKN, KARSA, GOA, CRRI, DRR, BIHAR and PANVE with winning genotypes CSR 36. Genotypes CSR 2K 262, CSR 27, NDRK 11-4, NDRK 11-3, NDRK 11-2, CSR 2K 255 and PNL 1-1-1-6-7-1 were identified as specifically adapted to favorable locations. The stability and adaptability of AMMI indicated that the best yielding genotypes were CSR 2K 262 for both coastal saline and alkaline environments and CSR 36 for alkaline environment. CARI and PANVEL were found as the most discernible environments for genotypic performance because of the greatest GE interaction. The genotype CSR 36 is specifically adapted to coastal saline environments GOA, KARSO, DRR, CRRI and BIHAR and while genotype CSR 2K 262 adapted to alkaline environments LUCKN, NDUAT, TRICH and KARAI. Use of most adapted lines could be used directly as varieties. Using them as donors for wide or specific adaptability with selection in the target environment offers the best opportunity for widening the genetic base of coastal salinity and alkalinity stress tolerance and development of adapted genotypes. Highly stable genotypes can improve the rice productivity in salt-affected areas and ensure livelihood of the resource poor farming communities.
The present paper reports that significant genetic variability was evident in Fe, Zn, β-carotene, and phytic acid (phytate, PA) contents in a set of 39 diverse maize genotypes collected from maize breeding programme of hill agriculture, India. The Fe, Zn, β-carotene, and PA concentrations were found to be in the range 19.31–50.64 mg kg−1, 12.60–37.18 mg kg−1, 0.17–8.27 µg g−1, and 6.59–7.13 g kg−1, respectively. The genotypes V335, V420, V393, V416, V414, V372, and V351 were identified to have higher concentration of β-carotene, Fe, and Zn but lower amount of PA. Possible availability of the minerals Fe and Zn was determined using molar ratio between PA as inhibitor and β-carotene as promoter for their absorption. The micronutrient molar ratio showed that Fe and Zn traits could be dependent of each other. Low R2 value revealed relation between β-carotene and kernel colour. The selected genotypes could be considered as potential sources of favourable genes for further breeding programs to develop micronutrient enriched maize cultivars.
The introduction of new crop varieties is important to improve farm productivity and increase food security in developing countries. This study was conducted to determine the performance of improved varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), mungbean [(Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in comparison to local varieties through farmers’ participatory evaluation. The study was conducted during three years (2006 to 2008) with 948 farmers’ participatory field trials across 18 districts in three Eastern provinces (Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar) of Afghanistan. One or more improved varieties of wheat, rice, mungbean and potato were compared to the most popular local variety. Data were recorded on the grain yield of wheat, rice and mungbean, and the tuber yield of potato. On average, the improved varieties outyielded local varieties by 69, 57, 70 and 65% for wheat, rice, mungbean, and potato, respectively. Economic analysis in terms of net benefit demonstrated that the adoption of improved varieties resulted in additional incomes of US$ 1840, 1299, 574 and 790 ha-1 for wheat, rice, mungbean and potato, respectively. These findings underline the importance of on-farm farmers’ participatory technology evaluation in developing countries to disseminate new crop varieties to improve farm productivity.