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PLoS One. 2009 Oct 13;4(10):e7433. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007433.

Heterosis is prevalent for multiple traits in diverse maize germplasm.

Author information

1
USDA-ARS, Plant Genetics Research Unit, and Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, United States of America. sherry.flint-garcia@ars.usda.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Heterosis describes the superior phenotypes observed in hybrids relative to their inbred parents. Maize is a model system for studying heterosis due to the high levels of yield heterosis and commercial use of hybrids.

METHODS:

The inbred lines from an association mapping panel were crossed to a common inbred line, B73, to generate nearly 300 hybrid genotypes. Heterosis was evaluated for seventeen phenotypic traits in multiple environments. The majority of hybrids exhibit better-parent heterosis in most of the hybrids measured. Correlations between the levels of heterosis for different traits were generally weak, suggesting that the genetic basis of heterosis is trait-dependent.

CONCLUSIONS:

The ability to predict heterosis levels using inbred phenotype or genetic distance between the parents varied for the different traits. For some traits it is possible to explain a significant proportion of the heterosis variation using linear modeling while other traits are more difficult to predict.

PMID:
19823591
PMCID:
PMC2757727
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0007433
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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