, Volume 193, Issue 3, pp 359–367 | Cite as

Molecular changes during intra and inter recurrent selection of two populations of maize: one adapted and one non adapted to the selection environment

  • J. Peña-Asin
  • A. Álvarez
  • B. Ordas


In several reciprocal recurrent selection (RRS) programs heterosis and favorable characteristics are achieved by means of one adapted and one non adapted population. We evaluated with molecular markers, an intrapopulation selection followed by RRS of one Spanish population adapted to Mediterranean Spain and one US Corn Belt population non adapted to Spanish conditions. Results from other authors suggest that during recurrent selection, non adapted populations have higher loss of variability, genetic differentiation and lower effective population size than expected according to the number of families selected each generation. This could be due to natural selection which is not under the breeder’s control and is expected to mainly act on non adapted populations. The number of markers with convergent allelic change was similar to the number of markers with divergent allelic change which explains the lack of genetic differentiation and the failure to increase heterosis during RRS because the effects of both types of changes compensate. It seems that the predominant mode of gene action depends on the particular germplasm involved in the RRS. By evaluating the allelic changes during selection, we identified four regions (2.04, 4.06, 6.03, 9.02) that significantly changed during selection in our selection experiment and that have been associated to selection in other selection experiments and to multiple traits in QTL experiments.


RRS Variability Genetic diversity Zea mays 



Reciprocal recurrent selection


Simple sequence repeat


Linkage disequilibrium



This research was supported by the Spanish Plan of I+D (project AGL2010-22254-C02-01). Javier Peña-Asín acknowledges a fellowship from the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and Bernardo Ordas acknowledges a Parga Pondal postdoctoral contract from the Xunta of Galicia.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 171 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 182 kb)
10681_2013_934_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (172 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 171 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Estación Experimental de Aula DeiEEAD-CSICZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Misión Biológica de GaliciaMBG-CSICPontevedraSpain

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