CIMMYT is pleased to announce the release of 22 new CIMMYT maize lines (CMLs). Developed through repeated cycles of selection and self-pollination of single plants, inbred lines are the building blocks of maize genetics and breeding. These lines can be crossed to produce high-yielding hybrids or open pollinated maize varieties. The lines were developed at various breeding locations of CIMMYT Global Maize Program by multi-disciplinary teams of scientists. These lines are adapted to tropical/subtropical maize production environments targeted by CIMMYT and the partner institutions. CMLs are freely available to both public and private sector breeders worldwide under CIMMYT’s standard material transfer agreement (SMTA).
Prior to their release, CMLs are intensively evaluated for per se performance (especially under abiotic and biotic stresses) and performance in hybrid combinations (combining ability). The descriptions accompanying the released lines include heterotic group classification and information on their specific combining ability with some widely-used CIMMYT lines. Instances where CMLs within a given heterotic group have good combining ability with other lines from the same heterotic group are also cited; the resulting hybrids may be useful either as single-cross products or as female parents of three-way or double-cross hybrids. Nine of the CMLs in the list have already proven their mettle as parental lines of commercial maize cultivars in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, CML541 and CM542 are among the constituent lines of ZM309, an improved, early-maturing, drought tolerant open-pollinated variety widely used for commercial cultivation in several African countries (see “ZM 309 gets presidential nod in Malawi”). Seven other CMLs (CML544 to CML548, CML558 and CML561) have been used as parental lines of commercial hybrids in sub-Saharan Africa. To obtain small amounts of seed of the newly released CMLs, send a request to the CIMMYT Germplasm Bank.