Use of genomic and phenotypic selection in lines for prediction of testcrosses in maize II: grain yield and plant traits
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Plant breeders have been trying to predict the performance of hybrids based on their parental performance. One application of molecular markers is its use in selection. The objectives were to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) and verify its congruence in maize lines and in their testcrosses and verify the possibility to select testcrosses from the predicted means of the lines by using information from markers. Two-hundred and fifty six lines and the testcrosses of these lines with two testers were evaluated in six environments, considering grain yield, plant lodging, days to anthesis and silking, anthesis-silking interval, plant and ear height and ear placement. QTL were mapped in the lines and in testcrosses and the predicted means of the lines were computed based on QTL effects and in all markers of the genome. The congruence of QTL detected in the lines and testcrosses were small for all traits. The correlations between the predicted means of the lines and the phenotypic means of the testcrosses ranged from low for grain yield to moderate for cycle and stature traits. The highest coincidences of the lines and selected testcrosses were observed for cycle and stature traits and the lowest for grain yield. Even by using molecular markers information, it is only possible to predict the testcrosses performance from the lines information to less complex traits and with reduced dominance effect. For complex traits and with pronounced dominance effect, information of markers must be obtained directly in the testcrosses, so they can be used for selection.