Evaluating genetic relationships between tropical maize inbred lines by means of AFLP profiling

Karine Miranda Oliveira, Prianda Rios Laborda, Antonio Augusto F Garcia, Maria Elisa A G Zagatto Paterniani, Anete Pereira de Souza
Hereditas 2004, 140 (1): 24-33
Diversity among tropical maize inbred lines that compose breeding programs, is not well known. The lack of this information has made the arrangement of heterotic groups to be used for breeding purposes difficult. Methods of molecular analysis have been used as efficient alternatives for evaluating genetic diversity, aiming at heterotic group arrangement and acquisition of new hybrids. In this study, AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) was used to investigate the genetic relationships among 96 tropical maize inbred lines from two different origins. The polymorphism level among the genotypes and the possibility of their allocation in heterotic groups were evaluated. Besides, correlations among genetic diversity and flowering time were analyzed. Nine primer combinations were used to obtain AFLP markers, producing 638 bands, 569 of which were polymorphic. Genetic similarities (GS), determined by Jaccard's similarity coefficient, varied from 0.345 to 0.891, with an average of 0.543. The dendrogram based on the GS and on the UPGMA cluster method did not separate the inbred lines in well-defined groups. Aiming at separating the lines into more accurate groups, Tocher's optimization procedure was carried out, 17 groups being identified. Association between flowering time and germplasm pools was detected. AFLP showed itself to be a robust assay, revealing a great power of detection of genetic variability in the tropical germplasm, and also demonstrated to be very useful for guiding breeding programs.

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