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Phenotypic diversity and relationships among Chilean Choclero maize (Zea mays L. mays) landraces

  • Erika Salazar (a1), José Correa (a1), María José Araya (a1), Marco A. Méndez (a2) and Basilio Carrasco (a3)...

Choclero is a Chilean traditional floury maize, consumed as a vegetable, with large economic and cultural value due to its culinary properties that give unique characteristics to the traditional local cuisine. Market diversification demands new materials with different ear and kernel characteristics, which are at present not fulfilled by breeders due to lack of genetic diversity. At present, the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias has a Choclero germplasm collection composed of 96 accessions, which can supply this lack of diversity, or increase the gene pool. In the present study, 34 selected Chilean Choclero landraces were characterized for 41 agromorphological traits. Phenotypic evaluation in three environments representative of the core production area revealed significant genetic variability for most of the evaluated traits, leading to the identification of several promising accessions. The greater contribution of genotype in most phenological plant, ear and kernel traits suggest their potential usefulness for breeding purposes. Principal component analysis explained over 75% of the total variation for 29 quantitative agromorphological traits. Cluster analysis separated accessions into four major groups, differentiated mainly by plant phenology and ear trait. These findings indicate a number of useful traits at an intra-racial level and a wide range of phenotypic variation that provides a good source of diversity for use in the development of new Choclero varieties.

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