Author: M. Carena 1
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  • 1 North Dakota State University (NDSU) Department of Plant Sciences Fargo ND USA
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Conservation of maize ( Zea mays L.) genetic resources has been the emphasis of national and international institutions for the benefit of mankind. However, limited resources have been devoted to their adequate exploitation, making genetic resources less useful to the public and private scientific community. As a consequence, public maize breeders have exploited a limited number of heterotic combinations for cultivar development and basic molecular studies while genetic effects are different for different hybrids. Extensive testing of maize population hybrids is a successful approach to choose and improve germplasm sources with high mean performance, useful genetic variability, and excellent combining ability. There is a need to keep applied breeding programs strong in order to link efforts in germplasm conservation with its improvement and utilization.

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