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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Taba, Suketoshi
item Diaz, Jaime
item Aragon, Flavio
item Rincon-sanchez, Froylan
item Hernandez, Juan Manuel
item Krakowsky, Matthew

Submitted to: Maydica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Taba, S., Diaz, J., Aragon, F., Rincon-Sanchez, F., Hernandez, J., Krakowsky, M.D. 2006. Evaluation of Zapalote chico accessions for conservation and enhancement. Maydica 51:209-218.

Interpretive Summary: Conserving the traditional maize varieties grown by farmers in Latin America can contribute to food security by providing a source of seed in the event of a natural disaster and also by preserving special traits that could become useful to maize growers in other parts of the world. The International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (spanish acronym CIMMYT) has a large collection of maize varieties, mostly from Latin America. Within that collection are several varieties from a race known as Zapalote Chico which is still grown by farmers in state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. These varieties were grown in four locations in the Mexican states of Morelos, Guerrero, and Oaxaca to examine their traits of interest wit the goal of selecting a subset of varieties that could represent the variation in traits of the whole Zapalote Chico collection. Fifteen accessions (from a total of eighty-one) were selected to form this subset for use in a breeding program with the ultimate goal of improving the maize varieties for yield potential, resistance to drought conditions, and resistance to molds that attack the ear, while maintaining the grain quality traits that are of utmost importance to the farmers.

Technical Abstract: Conserving the traditional maize (Zea mays L.) landraces grown by farmers in Latin America can contribute to food security while a core subset that represents diversity of the landraces can be used for their enhancement. The CIMMYT maize collection of the race Zapalote Chico and accessions collected in 1999 from Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, where the race Zapalote Chico is predominantly grown, were evaluated at four locations in the Mexican states of Morelos, Guerrero, and Oaxaca for agronomic and morphological traits. Cluster analysis performed using eleven plant and ear traits formed six non-overlapping clusters, representing phenotypic diversity among the 81 accessions. Fifteen accessions from four clusters were designated as a breeder core subset of the race Zapalote Chico. Among the accessions collected in 1999, two accessions were designated as race Tepecintle core in clusters a and c and one accession was designated as race Olotillo core in cluster a. These core subset accessions, representing the diversity of the regional landraces of maize, can be enhanced through introgression of improved lines or populations for yield potential, drought resistance, and ear rot resistance, while maintaining the desirable grain quality traits of the original races.

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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