Phenotypic and molecular diversity of local popcorn populations in Southern Brazil


The aim of this study was to characterize the phenotypic and genetic diversity, of popcorn populations from Far West region of Santa Catarina state, Southern Brazil, and generate subsidies for strategies of participatory genetic breeding. Thus, ten local popcorn populations were evaluated phenotypically, in three environments, and genotypically, using six  molecular markers. From the results, the genetic and phenotypic diversity, and the agronomic potential of the populations were estimated. The 574A population stood out for its high popping expansion (36.33 mL g-1), whereas 283A, 319E, and 880A were distinguished by their high grain yield, which ranged from 1,669.3 kg ha-1 to 1,905.7 kg ha-1. Diversity amongst the ten populations was measurable and significant, both by phenotypic evaluations and by means of microsatellite markers. However, there was a low correlation between the dendrograms generated based on phenotypic and molecular data, and for outlining the strategies of breeding, this study recommends molecular analysis as a basis for genetic divergence, complementing with the information of morpho-agronomic traits. Populations 884B, 574A, 880A, 66A, 977A, 857C, 283A and 319E resulted promising parents for diallel crosses, and the populations 66A, 574A, and 880A for intrapopulation recurrent selection.


genetic breeding, landrace, microsatellite marker, popping expansion, Zea mays L.

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013