GERMPLASM ENHANCEMENT OF MAIZE PROJECT (GEM)
Location: North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa
Title: Germplasm Enhancement of Maize: Allelic Diversity and Double Haploid Update
Submitted to: Northeastern and Southern Corn Improvement Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 25, 2011
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Citation: Blanco, M.H., Gardner, C.A., Smelser, A.D. 2012. Germplasm Enhancement of Maize: Allelic Diversity and Double Haploid Update. In: Proceedings of the 65th Northeastern and Southern Corn Improvement Conference, February 17-18, 2011, Newark, Delware. p. 7.
The Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) Project is a collaborative effort of public and private sector researchers to broaden and enhance the germplasm base. To date, 235 germplasm lines have been released to cooperators representing approximately 25 races. These lines were selected based on yield trial performance, and specific traits such as disease resistance, low levels of aflatoxin, abiotic stress tolerance, and grain quality value added traits (VAT). In an effort to represent more racial diversity, GEM implemented an "allelic diversity" project with a goal to develop adapted sources of germplasm representing ~300 races. To more effectively utilize genetic resources two technical innovations were implemented. A shade house structure was constructed and used to reduce photoperiod response of tropical races. This resulted in earlier flowering (up to 14-21 days) and facilitated introgression of tropical germplasm with adapted material in our Ames, IA nursery. Secondly, double haploid (DH) technology was implemented to accelerate development of adapted inbreds derived from exotic germplasm. To date, 379 DH lines representing 74 maize races have been made which will be released to the maize community in the near future. Technical issues and future challenges will be discussed for developing adapted germplasm from 300 races of maize.