, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 229-239
Date: 21 Sep 2006

Marker assisted breeding for transformability in maize

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Abstract

Corn lines with improved culturability and transformability were produced using Marker Assisted Breeding (MAB) to introgress specific regions from the highly transformable hybrid, Hi-II, into the elite line, FBLL that responds very poorly in culture. FBLL is a female inbred parental stiff-stalk line that has been used to produce a series of some of DEKALB’s historically best selling hybrids. Five unlinked regions important for culturability and transformability were identified by segregation distortion analysis and introgressed into FBLL to produce the highly transformable FBLL-MAB lines. Agrobacterium mediated transformation was used to screen the FBLL-MAB lines and select the most efficient lines for transformation using immature embryo explants. Two highly efficient transformation systems were developed using kanamycin and glyphosate as selective agents. To evaluate agronomics, two testcross hybrids were produced for each of the three lead FBLL-MAB lines. A 25-location, 3-replication yield trial was used to evaluate grain yield, yield stability, and agronomic characteristics of the hybrids. Yields were found to be 2–5% lower and more stable (across a diverse set of environments) among hybrids produced with the FBLL-MAB lines as compared to the same hybrids produced with FBLL.