Location: Corn Host Plant Resistance ResearchTitle: Bulk genetic characterization of Ghanaian maize landraces using microsatellite markers) Author
Submitted to: Maydica
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2013
Publication Date: 2/1/2014
Citation: Oppong, A., Bedoya, C., Ewool, M., Adu-Dapaah, H., Lamptey, J., Ofori, K., Offei, S., Warburton, M.L. 2014. Bulk genetic characterization of Ghanaian maize landraces using microsatellite markers. Maydica. 59:1-8. Interpretive Summary: Maize was introduced into Ghana in the 1500s and is the main staple crop for most people in the country. Unfortunately, yield is very low, and many populations grown by farmers are unimproved landraces, or cultivars sold by seed vendors who do not know where they would be best adapted. This study looked at the relationships between 20 of the most commonly grown landrace varieties from Ghana using SSR genetic markers. The landraces clustered according to geography, by grouping into two groups corresponding to the vegetation/climatic conditions of the north and south of the country. Some populations of the landrace Ashanti fell into both groups, indicating mixing and may be indicative of small seed vendors who move populations from one area to the other, where they will not be adapted and may cause lower yield. Suggestions for avoiding such a practice are discussed in this article.
Technical Abstract: Maize (Zea mays) was first introduced into Ghana over 5 centuries ago and remains the most important cereal staple, grown in all agro-ecologies across the country. Yield from farmers’ fields are low, which is attributed in part to farmer’s preferences and/or reliance on local landraces for cultivation. Efforts are underway to improve some of these landraces for improved productivity. Seeds of maize landraces cultivated in all agro-ecologies were collected for genetic characterization using a bulked fingerprinting technique and 20 SSR markers. In all, 20 populations of 15 plants each from Ghana and 4 control populations from Latin America were characterized. The cluster analysis grouped the 20 landraces into two major groups corresponding to the vegetation/climatic conditions of the north and south of the country. Genotypes from Ashanti, which is centrally located, fell into both major clusters, which suggest its importance in maize seed distribution in Ghana and also the diverse climate/vegetation. A Structure analyses grouped the genotypes into 2 major clusters similar to the UPGMA cluster, and populations were not fully distinct according to F statistics.