Research Article

Use of molecular markers in reciprocal recurrent selection of maize increases heterosis effects

Abstract

We examined the effect of incorporation of molecular markers on variability between and within populations in order to maximize heterotic effects and longevity of a maize reciprocal recurrent selection program. Molecular variability was quantified by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers between and within the maize populations Cimmyt and Piranão in the 10th cycle of a reciprocal recurrent selection program. Forty-two S1 progenies of each population were analyzed, these being families of full-sibs selected according to their agronomic traits. Thirteen primers were selected, which produced 140 bands; 114 of them were polymorphic and 26 monomorphic. Based on UPGMA grouping analysis and by genetic distances, it was possible to identify “contaminant” progenies. These progenies belong to the Piranão or Cimmyt groups, but cluster in the opposite heterotic group. Identification of “contaminant” progenies is relevant for selection, because, besides identifying genotypes that should be eliminated at the recombination stage, it allows increased heterosis expression in crosses between more genetically distinct individuals. After the elimination of the “contaminant” progenies and those that were allocated between the heterotic groups, a new statistical analysis was carried out, which demonstrated increased genetic distances between the populations. It was concluded that the application of molecular markers in reciprocal recurrent selection programs allows the optimization of the monitoring of genetic variability within and between populations, favoring recombination between more distant progenies, besides ensuring increased longevity of the reciprocal recurrent selection program.

We examined the effect of incorporation of molecular markers on variability between and within populations in order to maximize heterotic effects and longevity of a maize reciprocal recurrent selection program. Molecular variability was quantified by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers between and within the maize populations Cimmyt and Piranão in the 10th cycle of a reciprocal recurrent selection program. Forty-two S1 progenies of each population were analyzed, these being families of full-sibs selected according to their agronomic traits. Thirteen primers were selected, which produced 140 bands; 114 of them were polymorphic and 26 monomorphic. Based on UPGMA grouping analysis and by genetic distances, it was possible to identify “contaminant” progenies. These progenies belong to the Piranão or Cimmyt groups, but cluster in the opposite heterotic group. Identification of “contaminant” progenies is relevant for selection, because, besides identifying genotypes that should be eliminated at the recombination stage, it allows increased heterosis expression in crosses between more genetically distinct individuals. After the elimination of the “contaminant” progenies and those that were allocated between the heterotic groups, a new statistical analysis was carried out, which demonstrated increased genetic distances between the populations. It was concluded that the application of molecular markers in reciprocal recurrent selection programs allows the optimization of the monitoring of genetic variability within and between populations, favoring recombination between more distant progenies, besides ensuring increased longevity of the reciprocal recurrent selection program.