EVIDENCE OF ADDITIVE INHERITANCE OF POPPING EXPANSION IN POPCORN
Questions about the faithful inheritance of the trait popping expansion (PE) in popcorn persist even eight decades after the first correlated study was initiated, raising doubts with regard to the best-suited breeding plans to obtain consistent genetic progress. The objective was to fill this scientific gap by implementing a genetic-statistical system based on analyses of segregating and non-segregating generations, for a more thorough examination of the partitioning of the genetic variance components in the expression of popping expansion in popcorn. Four crosses between popcorn (P) and dent corn (D) inbred lines were used [D29.109 x P9.4.6; D70H26.1 x P9.4.6; D60H23.1 x P9.4.6; D53H20.2 x P13] to establish the generations F1, F2, BC1 and BC2, which were evaluated together with the parents at two locations in the Northwest of Paraná, in randomized complete block design with three replications. The parents were chosen for their high divergence in PE to adequately establish generations. Additivity in PE expression was predominant in all crosses and at both locations. Intrapopulation breeding methods are the most suitable for selection gain in PE. Popping expansion can be used as an early predictor of promising inbred lines to obtain superior hybrids for popping expansion. Backcross methods are realistic and should be preferred in popcorn breeding. It is recommended to transfer the PE alleles from popcorn to common maize lines to combine vigor and high popping expansion.