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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #445540

Research Project: Genomes to Fields Landrace Evaluations

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 6070-21220-017-010-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2025

The proposed work is a joint effort to evaluate maize landraces for favorable genes that can contribute to high yielding and climate-resilient corn hybrids for the USA. The goals are to create introgression lines carrying 20% or less genetic contribution from a wide range of diverse maize landraces adapted to distinct ecologies in the background of elite Corn Belt Dent inbred lines, create hybrids between these experimental introgression lines and unrelated Corn Belt Dent lines (testers), evaluate the hybrids across multiple environments in collaboration with the Genomes to Fields project, genotype the lines, and use genetic mapping techniques to identify potentially favorable genome segments derived from the landraces.

First we will generate BC2 or later backcross generations of at least 40 maize landraces to Corn Belt Dent inbred line B73. At least 20 independent introgression lines will be created from each landrace. Leaf tissue will be collected from these lines, DNA extracted, and high density genotyping performed with reduced representation sequencing or other sequencing-based method. Each line will be increased for evaluations as inbreds per se. Each line will also be topcrossed to the unrelated tester inbred LH287 (or a similar line). The topcrosses will be evaluated ior agronomic performance in up to 10 environments using partially replicated designs. Association and linkage mapping techniques will be used to identify genomic regions introgressed from the landraces that improve yield or other agronomic traits compared to the B73 parent allele.