Characterization of Open-Pollinated Maize Varieties from Rio Grande do Sul State
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The morphological characterization allows one to estimate and evaluate the genetic distance among different varieties, identifying heterotrophic groups by means of clustering methods. The objectives of the study were to characterize improved open-pollinated varieties (VPAs) and maize landraces based on the main quantitative agronomic traits and to estimate the variability and similarity between them. Sixteen maize varieties from the southern region of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil were evaluated. Data were subjected to analysis of variance. For the characterization, the Tukey averages comparison test was performed. The similarity among the varieties was tested using the Tocher optimization method. The differences detected indicate the presence of genetic variability among the studied varieties. According to the Tocher grouping, it was found that some populations have the potential to be selected as parents in breeding programs, maximizing the variability obtained from their crosses. For certain traits, maize landraces do not differ from improved varieties and show high similarity.
Key wordsZea mays L. genetic distance morphological descriptors
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