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Theoretical and Applied Genetics





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Isozymes and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) have been proposed for use in varietal identification and selection for agronomic traits. Although the use of isozymes for these purposes has been well documented, evaluation of the efficacy of RFLP technology as applied to crop improvement is far from complete. This investigation was conducted to study the relationship between RFLP-derived genotypes and heterotic patterns of a group of maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines. A total of 22 inbreds was crossed to four testers (B73, B76, Mo17, and Va26) in combinations that minimized crossing within heterotic groups. Forty-seven single-cross progeny were subsequently evaluated for several agronomic traits (including grain yield and moisture, ear height, and root lodging) over 2–4 consecutive years at two to four Iowa locations in a randomized complete-block design. The inbred lines were subjected to RFLP analysis, which involved 47 genomic clones and the restriction enzymes EcoRI and HindIII. Hybrid RFLP patterns were predicted from their inbred parents. Modified Roger's distances were computed to estimate genetic distance among the inbred lines. Principal component analysis facilitated ascertainment of relative dispersion of the inbreds based on the frequency of variants at specific RFLP loci. Evident associations of variants with genes affecting agronomic traits were identified by principal component regression analysis, in which adjusted hybrid means were regressed on the matrix of hybrid variants frequencies. The hybrid means were adjusted by removing environmental effects, using residuals as dependent variables in the regression analysis. Results from this study suggest that RFLP analysis may be of value in allocating maize inbreds to heterotic groups, but no relationship between RFLP-based genetic distance and hybrid performance was apparent. Principal component regression identified variants potentially linked to genes that control specific agronomic traits.


This article is published as Godshalk, E. B., M. Lee, and K. R. Lamkey. "Relationship of restriction fragment length polymorphisms to single-cross hybrid performance of maize." Theoretical and Applied Genetics 80, no. 2 (1990): 273-280. doi:10.1007/BF00224398. Posted with permission.


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