, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 181-191

Variation of DNA fingerprints among accessions within maize inbred lines and implications for identification of essentially derived varieties.

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Genetic distances (GDs) based on molecular markers are important parameters for identifying essentially derived varieties (EDVs). In this context information about the variability of molecular markers within maize inbred lines is essential. Our objectives were to (1) determine the variation in the size of simple sequence repeat (SSR) fragments among different accessions of maize inbreds and doubled haploid (DH) lines, (2) attribute the observed variation to genetic and marker system-specific sources, and (3) investigate the effect of SSR fragment size differences within maize lines on the GD between maize lines and their consequences for the identification of essentially derived varieties. Two to five accessions from nine inbred lines and five DH lines were taken from different sources or drawn as independent samples from the same seed lot. Each accession was genotyped with 100 SSR markers that evenly covered the whole maize genome. In total, 437 SSR fragments were identified, with a mean of 4.4 alleles per locus. The average polymorphic information content (PIC) was 0.58. GD estimates between two accessions of the same genotype ranged from 0.00 to 0.12 with an average of 0.029 for inbred lines and 0.001 for DH lines. An average of 11.1 SSRs was polymorphic between accessions of the same inbred line due to non-amplification (8.1 SSRs), heterogeneity (4.0 SSRs) or unknown alleles (2.6 SSRs). In contrast to lab errors, heterogeneity contributed considerably to the observed variation for GD. In order to decrease the probability to be suited for infringing an EDV threshold by chance, we recommend to increase the level of homogeneity of inbred lines before applying for plant variety protection.