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Genetic diversity in South African maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L.) genotypes as determined with microsatellite markers

CMS Mienie
AP Fourie


One thousand and forty three (1043) maize genotypes including white and yellow maize inbred lines as well as hybrids from the public germplasm collection were characterized with 80 microsatellite markers distributed throughout the genome. A total of 1874 alleles were amplified and used in the genetic diversity analysis. Principal coordinate analysis confirmed the geographical distribution of the breeding lines. Cluster analysis using Rogers distance measures placed the breeding lines in several clusters and corresponded well with known pedigrees. Lines with mixed origin were classified in separate clusters and duplicate entries in the collection were identified. These mixed lines could not be placed in known heterotic groups, but could rather be used to identify new groups to be used in the breeding program. The genetic distances determined in the study can be applied to plan a more focused breeding program.

Keywords: Genetic distances, maize, microsatellites

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(2), pp. 123-133

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eISSN: 1684-5315