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  • 1 Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Martonvásár Hungary
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The use of genetic markers allows the study of polymorphism and genetic distances between maize lines in greater depth than can be achieved on the basis of phenotype and DUS traits. The analysis of polymorphism between 46 maize inbred lines with known genetic background and the classification of these lines in related groups was carried out by means of morphological description, isoenzyme analysis, RAPD analysis, and identification using gene-linked microsatellite (SSR) markers. The genetic distance or degree of relationship between the lines was determined using cluster analysis. Only a very limited extent of allele polymorphism could be detected in isoenzyme analyses; the 46 lines formed only 18 gel electrophoresis groups. Nevertheless, on the basis of RAPD and SSR markers, all the lines could be distinguished from each other. This was reflected by the PIC (polymorphism index content) values, which ranged from 0.04 to 0.55 (mean 0.27) for the various enzyme loci, while far higher values were obtained for RAPD and SSR markers (0.20–0.91, mean 0.61, and 0.54–0.90, mean 0.73, respectively). Due to the large number of lines, two lines, derived from each other or from common parents, were chosen from each related group as the basis for grouping the lines according to genetic background. It was found that, while the individual marker systems only partially reflected the actual relationships between the lines, a joint processing of the genetic markers, supplemented with morphological data, revealed a close correlation between the groups formed on the dendrogram and the genetic background.

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