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Genet Mol Res. 2014 Jan 21;13(1):518-27. doi: 10.4238/2014.January.21.21.

Genetic gains in the UENF-14 popcorn population with recurrent selection.

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  • 1Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brasil ismaelljf@yahoo.com.br.
  • 2Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brasil.
  • 3Universidade Federal do Ceará, Campus do Cariri, Cariri, CE, Brasil.
  • 4Universidade Estudual de Maringá, Maringá, PR, Brasil.


The popcorn breeding program of Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro aims to provide farmers a cultivar with desirable agronomic traits, particularly with respect to grain yield (GY) and popping expansion (PE). We evaluated full-sib families from the seventh cycle of recurrent selection and estimated the genetic progress with respect to GY and PE. Eight traits were evaluated in 200 full-sib families that were randomized into blocks with two replicates per set in two contrasting environments, Campos dos Goytacazes and Itaocara, located in north and northwest Rio de Janeiro State, respectively. There were significant differences between sets in families with respect to all traits evaluated, which indicates genetic variability that may be explored in future cycles. Using random economic weights in the selection of superior progenies, the Mulamba and Mock index showed gains for PE and GY of 5.11 and 7.78%, respectively. Significant PE and GY increases were found when comparing the evolution of mean values of these two parameters that were assessed at cycles C₀-C₆ and predicted for C₇. Thus, an advanced-cycle popcorn cultivar with genotypic superiority for the main traits of economic interest can be made available to farmers in Rio de Janeiro State.

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