, 214:80 | Cite as

Signatures of divergent selection for cold tolerance in maize

  • Elisabetta Frascaroli
  • Pierangelo Landi


Divergently selected genotypes can be used for detecting the genomic regions affecting the selected trait (selection signature). Moreover, the genetic distances (GDs) among divergently selected lines can be correlated with the agronomic performances of the crosses among them. Using as source the maize F2 of B73 × IABO78, we previously conducted four cycles of divergent recurrent selection and three cycles of divergent selection in inbreeding for cold tolerance at germination. We finally obtained 10 lines selected for low (L) and 10 lines selected for high (H) cold tolerance, which exhibited a notable divergence for both the selected and associated traits. Herein, we investigated the 20 lines and the 28 single diallel crosses among eight random lines (four L and four H); the main objectives were to identify the putative regions controlling the selected and associated traits and to study the relationships between crosses performances and GDs among their parental lines. Allele frequencies at 932 recombination blocks based on 19,220 polymorphic SNPs were obtained for the two lines’ groups; the F ST calculated across sliding windows indicated 18 regions highly divergent between groups. The increasing alleles for cold tolerance were contributed by both parents, consistently with the transgressive segregations previously found. Several regions associated to DG also affected various agronomic traits. The cross performances showed some relationships with the genetic distances among parental lines for traits affected by dominance, provided that all crosses were considered, while these relationships vanished when only L × H crosses were examined.


Cold tolerance Divergent selection Genetic distance Selection signature 



Difference in germination (G9.5–G25)


Crosses performance


Field emergence


Germination at 25 °C


Germination at 9.5 °C


General combining ability


Genetic distance


Grain yield


Lines selected for high cold tolerance


Kernel moisture


Lines selected for low cold tolerance


Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator


Mean of parental lines


Midparent heterosis


Modified Rogers’ Distance


Plot fresh weight


Plant height


Pollen shedding date


Specific combining ability


Seedling fresh weight


Single nucleotide polymorphism


Unweighted pair group method arithmetic mean



This study was conducted with the financial support of the University of Bologna, Grant RFO (2009–2014).

Supplementary material

10681_2018_2163_MOESM1_ESM.docx (738 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 738 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences - DISTALUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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