Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 473-480

First online:

Relationships among maize inbred lines and populations from European and North-American origins as estimated using RFLP markers

  • P. DubreuilAffiliated withINRA-Station de Génétique Végétale
  • , A. CharcossetAffiliated withINRA-Station de Génétique Végétale

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RFLP markers have proven to be a reliable and highly informative tool for characterizing genetic diversity in maize. Joint analysis of inbred lines and populations should provide valuable information with respect to (1) a better understanding of the genetic basis of present elite germplasm and (2) the identification of populations that may prove to be useful sources of genetic diversity for breeding programs. Sixty-two inbred lines of known heterotic groups and ten maize populations, some of them significant contributors to the genetic basis of the heterotic groups, were assayed at 28 RFLP loci. Joint data analyses first underlined that the populations displayed a large number of alleles that were absent in the set of inbred lines. Associations among inbreds and populations further proved consistent with pedigree data of the inbreds and provided new information on the genetical basis of heterotic groups. In particular, European flint inbreds were revealed to be as close to the Northeastern U.S. flint population studied as to the typical European populations. These results advocate the analysis of larger sets of populations by means of molecular markers in order to (1) gain insight into the history of maize germplasm and (2) set up appropriate strategies for the use of genetic resources in breeding programs.

Key words RFLP Maize Lines Populations