Submitted to: Maize Genetics Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2008
Publication Date: 3/2/2008
Citation: Krakowsky, M.D., Holley, R., Deutsch, J., Rice, J., Blanco, M.H., Goodman, M. 2008. Maize allelic diversity project. Maize Genetics Conference Abstracts. 50th Maize Genetics Conference. Feb 27 - Mar 2, 2008. Interpretive Summary: n/a
Technical Abstract: Of the estimated 250-300 races of maize, only 24 races are represented in materials utilized by the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project, a collaborative effort between USDA-ARS and public and private sector research scientists. This is largely a result of poor performance of many races in temperate environments and the absence of some germplasm from the LAMP project. This was done of out necessity to reduce the number of accessions to manageable numbers and to eliminate poor-performing germplasm early in the process. However, to fully exploit the available genetic diversity in maize the acquisition and sampling of other exotic sources is required. The development of a set of inbred lines with a common recurrent parent and incorporating as many of the races of maize as possible would be a powerful tool for maize researchers to study maize allelic diversity. Such a set of lines would allow for greater use of the germplasm resources held in trust by public institutions such as the USDA/ARS National Plant Germplasm System. It would allow researchers to evaluate germplasm for traits of interest from different mega-environments (e.g., highland, tropical) in a single environment and genetic background and perform association mapping, which has been promoted as a powerful tool for mapping genes underlying traits of interest. The use of backcrosses to a publicly available inbred line is necessary to produce germplasm with adaptation to the target environment; while some exotic accessions can be evaluated per se in the Midwest, most need to undergo backcrossing and mild selection beforehand. While the set of lines to be produced is potentially large (5-7 per race, ~1500 lines total), researchers can use evaluations conducted on accessions per se in the mega-environments of origin to select lines derived from accessions that are more likely to have the traits of interest.