Ex-situ conservation of maize germplasm from different latitudes
Germplasm collections often include open-pollinated varieties from diverse latitudes and climatic areas that cannot be correctly conserved in a single environment. The objective of this research was to investigate if open-pollinated maize varieties from diverse latitudinal and climatic conditions could be conserved in a single location. Twelve varieties from the humid Spain, the dry Spain, and the Canary Island were multiplied in three locations from the humid Spain, one from the dry Spain, and one from the Canary Islands. Hand pollinations were made in 100-plant plots following a randomized complete block design with two replications in five locations during two years. Differences between origins and between varieties were significant for most traits, including those related to growth cycle (male and female flowering and grain moisture). The varieties from each latitudinal and climatic origin did not behave as a consistent germplasm block; contrarily, the location × variety interaction was significant for most traits. The varieties from the humid Spain maintained their ranks of growth cycle across locations and differences between varieties were more important in the dry Spain. The growth cycle of the Canarian varieties was completely different in the dry Spain. We can maintain the varieties from any Spanish environment and latitude at any location, but most varieties could be modified by natural selection for adaptation.
KeywordsZea mays Maize Germplasm Adaptation Latitude
Research was supported by the Spanish Plan for Research and Development (project code RF2010-00004-C04 and AGL2016-77628-R).
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