Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

ISSN: 2276-7770; ICV: 6.15

Vol. 4 (8), pp. 321-325, September 2014

Copyright ©2017, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)





Research Article (DOI:



Inheritance Analysies of Linoleic Acid Content in Half Diallel Maize Populations



Gül Ebru Orhun*1 and Kayıhan Z. Korkut2



1Çanakkale 18 Mart University Bayramiç Vocational College.  Çanakkale- Turkey.

2Namık Kemal University Tekirdağ Agricultural Faculty Crop Fields Department.








Article No.: 063014285

DOI: 10.15580/GJAS.2014.8.063014285


In the last few years, the analysis of fatty acids has gained importance because of their nutritional and health implications. This increased attention led to a half dialell crossing design study during 2006 and 2007 seasons in Edirne -Turkey conditions. In this study, 28 F1 maize hybrids were obtained by 8x8 half diallel crossing. In half –diallel maize population, inheritance of linoleic acid content in grains and combining ability were investigated. Mean squares of inbred lines and hybrids were highly significant for all studies traits, indicating the genetic variance among lines. This study examined inheritance of  linoleic acid which is an important unsaturated fatty acid for potential health benefits. Therefore, linoleic acid content and inheritance in maize oil was investigated in this research. The linoleic acid content in grain was under the dominance gene effect. Also linoleic acid content was affected by additive gene effects.



Submitted: 30/06/2014

Accepted:  09/09/2014

Published: 09/09/2014


*Corresponding Author

Gül Ebru Orhun

E-mail: ebruorhun@




fatty acid, maize, dominance, diallel, ability, inheritance










Maize is one of the major cereal crops used as raw material for the industry. The importance of maize is progressively increasing in Turkey and the world. Maize, with a remarkable productive potential among the cereals, is the third most important grain crop after wheat and rice (16). Maize is used for human consumption (20%), livestock feed (66%), and for industrial purposes (10%). On the other hand, maize is also used for industrial purposes such as soap, paint, adhesives, insecticides, shaving cream, toothpaste, molded plastics, rubber,  tyres, glue, rayon, fuels and others(3). The ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids in maize kernels strongly affect human and livestock health, but is a complex trait that is difficult to select based on phenotype. The production of 817 million tons of corn in 2009 (3) makes it one of the most important crops in the world, and it is projected to be the largest source of calories in the human diet by 2020 (15). Maize oil is an important product of the maize milling industry. Maize oil production has been increasing rapidly. The proper ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids in maize oil is necessary to maintain lower blood levels of serum cholesterol and low density lipoproteins, and to avoid some immunological diseases. Maize oil is a good source of essential fatty acids. In the last few years, the analysis of fatty acids has gained importance because of their nutritional and health implications. Linoleic acid is an important unsaturated fatty acid for human health (5). Linoleic acid has a variety of salutary biological activities such as the reduction of fatty liver, serum cholesterol and carcinogenesis in animal studies (4). The fatty acid content of kernel lipids is primarily under genetic control. Inheritance studies in maize aimed at enhancing fatty acids were examined in 1970, but the number of studies in this subject was insufficient. So we investigated inheritance of linoleic acid content in maize kernel.

Maize cultivars have a wide diversity of genetic traits. Corn breeders and researchers have long recognized the potential for higher oil and fatty acid concentrations in maize.

Inheritance of maize grain fatty acids depends on knowledge of the genetic mechanism governing related traits. Hayman (9) and Jinks (10) developed diallel cross technique that provides information on the inheritance mechanism. The technique helps the maize breeders to make effective selection. Diallel analysis system is widely and extensively used for estimating the types of gene action (7). Diallel crossing programmes estimates combining ability of parents, gene effects and heterotic effects of population. GCA and SCA are essential in improving breeding strategies. Dominance gene action is desirable for developing hybrids and additive gene action implies that standard selection protocols would be effective enough in breeding aimed at improving the character (6). Combining ability analysis is useful to assess the potential of inbred lines and also helps in identifying the nature of gene action involved in various quantitative characters. This information is helpful to plant breeders for formulating hybrid breeding programmes ( 1).

           The study used diallel crossing technique in maize inbred lines to investigate linoleic acid content and inheritance in maize oil. Linoleic acid inheritance in maize grains was investigated particularly by diallel methods. Furthermore, gene activities that were responsible for inheritance of linoleic acid were also examined.





In this study, 28 F1 hybrids were obtained by 8x8 half diallel crossing and six inbred dent corn were used as the material. Eight dent corn inbred lines were crossed in a diallel fashion without reciprocal combinations [n (n-1)/2] (n-number of parental lines), which produced 28 F1 combinations. The 28 hybrid combinations and 8 parental lines were included in a randomized block design. Experiments were conducted in randomized block design with 4 replicates. This study was carried out in Edirne ecological conditions from 2006 to 2007 growing season. The plots were represented by 4 m rows, and 5m long. Cultural practices were consistent with the production of maize at this location. Ears of plants were harvested at the time of maturation by hand. Then the grains were separated from the cobs and dried to 15% moisture content. The grains were threshed by hand. % oil content of grains was determined according to the method (TSE-973 EN ISO- 659 February 2000). The oil was extracted from each sample with hexane as a solvent by using Gerdhardt soxhlet. Unsaturated fatty acid compositions were determined by using the UPAC model Gas- Liquid Chromatography (2). Linoleic acid content was calculated from the chromatographic results. The statistical analysis was carried out by the Steel and Torrie (17) method, using the computer packaged program. Correlation coefficients were calculated using the Tarpopgen packaged program. Data obtained from 8 parents and 28 F1 were analyzed by Jinks-Hayman type diallel analysis for genetic parameters (11). Griffings Method 2 Model 1 was then used to analyze combining abilities (8). Combining ability describes the breeding values of parental lines to produce hybrids.  The analysis were performed using the Tarpopgen program (14)





F1 Hybrids with % linoleic acid content were ranging from 42.23 to 60.97. Inbred parents % linoleic acid content ranged from 52.8 to 59.48.  Combining ability analysis of variance and preliminary analysis of variance indicated that genotypes were significantly different for linoleic acid content (Table I). By using the Griffing diallel analysis, the General combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects of genotypes were also significantly different for linoleic acid content (Table II).






As seen in Table II, estimates of GCA and SCA were significant for each trait, showing the importance of both additive and non additive gene effect. Diallel analysis of variance results were shown in Table III. The general combining ability (GCA), which measured the additive effects of genes, was superior in magnitude to the specific combining ability (SCA). The results suggest that inheritance for linoleic acid content is controlled largely by additive gene effects (table II). This result was also supported by some researchers, (12,18). H1 and H2 parameters (dominance and corrected dominance variances) were significantly different from zero (Table: III). It may thus be concluded that linoleic acid content is under the largely dominance gene effect. In the same way, linoleic acid content is under the additive gene effects. Since the mean dominance effect of the heterozygote locus (h2) was significant, high heterotic effect values would be expected for linoleic acid content among crosses. Additionally E (environment) variance was not effective in inheritance of linoleic acid content (Table III). Dominant alleles are more effective than recessive alleles in the formation of this feature because F value is negative (Table III). 




Narrow and broad sense heritability degree of linoleic acid was estimated 0.039 and 0.540. The inheritance of linoleic acid content is shown in Wr – Vr graph in Figure 1. We can consider over-dominance, since the regression line cut the Wr axis under the origin over-dominance may be the reason. For the linoleic acid content 2, 8 and 1 had more dominant genes 3 and 7 carried more recessive genes (Figure 1).




General combination ability (Dark-colored ones) and special combination ability effects of F1 and parents are given in Table IV. Significant differences were found for linoleic acid content. GCA and SCA effects for the trait estimated differed significantly from zero as they compared to LSD values at 0.05 and 0.01 level of significance in Table IV.  All results showed dominance effect controlling linoleic acid biosynthesis in maize.




Consequently, inheritance for linoleic acid content was controlled by both additive and dominant effects. Similarly, this result was also supported by Jellum and Widstrom (12,18) but dominance gene variance was larger than additive gene variance so with both determinations, it is commented that inheritance for linoleic acid content showed additive and dominant inheritance. Enough studies about the inheritance of linoleic acid content can not be found.  Similar results were found for linoleic acid in sunflower by Jocksimovic et. al (13). İn this study, the non-additive component dominance and epistasis, prevailed in the control of inheritance of linoleic acid content in sunflowers.





In this study, inheritance of linoleic acid for maize genotypes has been investigated by using diallel crossing methods. We have been determined that inheritance for linoleic acid content was controlled by both additive and dominant effects. And also our results have showed that additive gene action was more important than non-additive gene action in controlling this trait. This study can be a preliminary model for inheritance studies about fatty acids in future.





This study has been done for dissertation research.





There is no competing interest.





This article is extracted from the doctoral thesis. This article is part of the doctoral thesis of Gul Ebru ORhun who is supervised by Prof. Kayıhan Korkut at Trakya University Tekirdağ Agricultural Faculty.





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Cite this Article: Orhun GE, Korkut KZ, 2014. Inheritance Analysis of Linoleic Acid Content in Half Diallel Maize Populations. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 4(8):321-325,