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New popcorn races in a diversity microcenter of Zea mays L. in the Far West of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil

Almeida Silva, Natália Carolina de, Vidal, Rafael, Ogliari, Juliana Bernardi
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2017 v.64 no.6 pp. 1191-1204
Zea mays, cluster analysis, color, corn ears, farms, lowlands, popcorn, races, seeds, Brazil, North America
The last classification of corn races in Brazil was performed in 1977, when were described 19 races and 15 sub-races within four groups. However, this classification, which considered the race diversity in Brazil and South American lowlands, did not include popcorns. Therefore, there is a diversity in situ-on farm, which not yet was described after almost 40 years from the last study. This work aimed at identifying popcorn races from populations conserved in situ-on farm in the micro-region of the Far West of the State of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, and verifying their relationships with other races of the American continent. Thus, 218 ears of 70 popcorn populations were collected from small-scale farms, aiming to evaluate them for corn descriptors through 16 morphological characters related to ear and kernel. The populations showed variability for all characters, mainly for kernel color. The cluster analysis and principal coordinates, based on Gower index, have highlighted the presence of four distinct groups and one isolated population: I and II Groups, and the population 2279X are not grouped with other popcorn races of Americas, and Groups III and IV have different relationships with other popcorn races of Americas. Thus, in the region of study, there are at least five popcorn races conserved in situ-on farm.