Print version ISSN 0103-8478
BISPO, Noryam Bervian; TESSELE, Carolina and BARBOSA NETO, José Fernandes. Phenotypic and molecular characterization of corn hybrids released from 1980 to 2000. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.7, pp. 1960-1966. Epub July 03, 2009. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782009005000128.
Genetic variability is the basis of plant breeding. In corn, a large and diverse genetic pool permits manipulation of different genotypes, but the genetic diversity of tropical germplasm has been little studied. With the objective of analyzing the amplitude of the genetic variability in 15 hybrids released in different periods by three different seed companies, phenotypic and molecular characterization was carried out in three environments and at two plant densities. The phenotypic assessment showed great similarity among the hybrids, suggesting that the breeding programs have developed genotypes with similar phenotypic traits. The dendogram of the molecular analysis showed clustering according with the different companies suggesting that each corn breeding program make use of different germoplasms. However, although the germplasm was different, it could be inferred that the selection pressure used by the breeders followed the same traits such as plant height, number of rows per ear and kernel weight among others analyzed in the present study, that contributed to the phenotypic uniformity of the genotype.
Keywords : corn germplasm; genetic diversity; breeding programs.