Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 219–227

Genetic diversity and its relationship to hybrid performance in maize as revealed by RFLP and AFLP markers

  • P. Ajmone Marsan
  • P. Castiglioni
  • F. Fusari
  • M. Kuiper
  • M. Motto

DOI: 10.1007/s001220050730

Cite this article as:
Ajmone Marsan, P., Castiglioni, P., Fusari, F. et al. Theor Appl Genet (1998) 96: 219. doi:10.1007/s001220050730

Abstract

 The challenge to maize breeders is to identify inbred lines that produce highly heterotic hybrids. In the present study we surveyed genetic divergence among 13 inbred lines of maize using DNA markers and assessed the relationship between genetic distance and hybrid performance in a diallel set of crosses between them. The parental lines were assayed for DNA polymorphism using 135 restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) and 209 amplified-fragment polymorphisms (AFLPs). Considerable variation among inbreds was detected with RFLP and AFLP markers. Moreover AFLPs detect polymorphisms more efficiently in comparison to RFLPs, due to the larger number of loci assayed in a single PCR reaction. Genetic distances (GDs), calculated from RFLP and AFLP data, were greater among lines belonging to different heterotic groups compared to those calculated from lines of the same heterotic group. Cluster analysis based on GDs revealed associations among lines which agree with expectations based on pedigree information. The GD values of the 78 F1 crosses were partioned into general (GGD) and specific (SGD) components. Correlations of GD with F1 performance for grain yield were positive but too small to be of predictive value. The correlations of SGDs, particularly those based on AFLP data, with specific combining-ability effects for yield may have a practical utility in predicting hybrid performance.

Key words DNA polymorphismsGenetic distancesMolecular markersYield predictionZea mays

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Ajmone Marsan
    • 1
  • P. Castiglioni
    • 1
  • F. Fusari
    • 1
  • M. Kuiper
    • 2
  • M. Motto
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura, Via Stezzano 24, 24126 Bergamo, Italy Fax: +39 35 316054 E-mail: isc1@spm.itIT
  2. 2.Keygene n.v., P.O. Box 216, Wageningen, The NetherlandsNL