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European maize landraces made accessible for plant breeding and genome-based studies
Wednesday, 2019/12/04 | 08:32:12

Armin C. Hölker, Manfred Mayer, Thomas Presterl, Therese Bolduan, Eva Bauer,  Bernardo Ordas, Pedro C. Brauner, Milena Ouzunova, Albrecht E. Melchinger, Chris-Carolin Schön

Theoretical and Applied Genetics; December 2019, Volume 132, Issue 12, pp 3333–3345

Key message

Doubled-haploid libraries from landraces capture native genetic diversity for a multitude of quantitative traits and make it accessible for breeding and genome-based studies.


Maize landraces comprise large allelic diversity. We created doubled-haploid (DH) libraries from three European flint maize landraces and characterized them with respect to their molecular diversity, population structure, trait means, variances, and trait correlations. In total, 899 DH lines were evaluated using high-quality genotypic and multi-environment phenotypic data from up to 11 environments. The DH lines covered 95% of the molecular variation present in 35 landraces of an earlier study and represent the original three landrace populations in an unbiased manner. A comprehensive analysis of the target trait plant development at early growth stages as well as other important agronomic traits revealed large genetic variation for line per se and testcross performance. The majority of the 378 DH lines evaluated as testcrosses outperformed the commercial hybrids for early development. For total biomass yield, we observed a yield gap of 15% between mean testcross yield of the commercial hybrids and mean testcross yield of the DH lines. The DH lines also exhibited genetic variation for undesirable traits like root lodging and tillering, but correlations with target traits early development and yield were low or nonsignificant. The presented diversity atlas is a valuable, publicly available resource for genome-based studies to identify novel trait variation and evaluate the prospects of genomic prediction in landrace-derived material.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-019-03428-8

Fig. 6

Phenotypic Pearson correlation coefficients for line per se [LP, left, N = 471 (KE) and 402 (PE)] and testcross [TC, right, N = 190 (KE) and 188 (PE)] data within DH libraries KE (above diagonal) and PE (below diagonal) for the traits emergence (EME), early vigor, and early plant height at stages V4 and V6 (EV_V4, EV_V6, PH_V4, PH_V6), ear height (EH), final plant height (PH_final), male flowering and female flowering (MF, FF), anthesis-silking interval (ASI), root lodging (RL), tillering (TILL), cold tolerance (CT), drought/heat tolerance (DT), maximum photosynthetic efficiency at V4 stage (Fv/Fm_V4), dry matter content (DMC), and total dry matter yield (TDMY). P-values were adjusted using Bonferroni–Holm correction for multiple testing. Nonsignificant correlations are labeled with ns

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