Main content area

Molecular characterisation of maize introgressed inbred lines bred in different environments

Musundire, Lennin, Derera, John, Dari, Shorai, Tongoona, Pangirayi, Cairns, Jill E.
Euphytica 2019 v.215 no.3 pp. 46
Zea mays, alleles, allelic variation, breeding programs, corn, genetic distance, genetic markers, genotype, germplasm, heterosis, hybrids, inbred lines, introgression, loci, microsatellite repeats, pedigree, plant breeding, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Establishing detailed information on genetic diversity and relationships among maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines in a breeding programme help ensure effective utilization of germplasm. Introgression of temperate maize germplasm into 12 tropical elite maize inbred lines using a common donor inbred line and different selection environments might disrupt the heterotic grouping system. Therefore, the objective of the study was to determine the effect of introgression on the clustering pattern of the newly introgressed inbred lines and to identify unique genotypes for breeding. A total of 76 introgressed inbred lines derived through pedigree crosses of introgression of 12 elite tropical inbred lines from three major heterotic groups N3, SC and P with a common donor temperate maize inbred line (08CED6_7_B) were used in the study. In addition to the derived 76 introgressed inbred lines, 26 temperate parental inbred lines and 21 elite tropical parental inbred lines with known heterotic group classification were also included in the study as references samples for heterotic groupings to give a total of 123 inbred lines for the study. Introgressed inbred lines derived from four generations of pedigree selection in three distinct environments in Zimbabwe and South Africa were characterised using 20 SSR markers. The 20 SSR markers proved very effective in discriminating the introgressed inbred lines according to genetic distance and clustering. A total of 83 alleles were detected with an average of 4.15 alleles per locus, and had an allelic diversity of 0.53 and PIC of 0.47. Introgression of temperate maize germplasm into tropical elite inbred lines did not disrupt heterotic groupings, because introgressed inbred lines remained genetically inclined towards the original heterotic groups from which they were derived. However, there were some introgressed inbred lines (14%), which did not show any inclination to any of the heterotic groups. Marked genetic difference noted within and across heterotic groupings for the introgressed inbred lines provides germplasm variation that can be exploited for inbred line development and hybrid formation, respectively.