Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The elite maize germplasm base in the United States is restricted. Tropical germplasm represents a unique germplasm source, but is poorly adapted to temperate growing conditions. When selection is practiced in temperate environments on progeny from tropical x temperate crosses, we expected that many tropical alleles will be lost. To test this, 164 inbred lines were created from crosses between Mo44 and 23 Latin American maize accessions. The lines were crossed to a US Corn Belt tester and evaluated for agronomic traits in seven environments. Experimental lines were also screened with 60 SSR markers and each locus was scored as having Mo44 or tropical alleles in order to estimate percent germplasm from tropical accessions. Twenty-seven lines had greater grain yield and five lines had decreased grain moisture compared to Mo44. Preliminary results indicate that on average, at least 30% of the alleles in the experimental lines are from tropical accessions. Despite its shortcomings, tropical germplasm does contain unique alleles contributing to improved yield.