Genetic diversity and diallel analysis of elite popcorn lines

Camila Rodrigues Castro, Leandro Simões Azeredo Gonçalves, Ronald Barth Pinto, Carlos Alberto Scapim, Viviane Yumi Baba, Douglas Mariani Zeffa, Mauricio Carlos Kuki


Popcorn is an important agricultural crop that is consumed as a snack food worldwide. In Brazil, the lack of cultivars
with high potential grain yield and popping expansion volume is a vital problem. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate
the genetic divergence among elite popcorn lines using amplifi ed fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to estimate the
general and specifi c combining ability (GCA and SCA, respectively), and correlate the genetic distance with the SCA and hybrid
means. For the genetic divergence study, 45 popcorn inbred lines of different hybrids and varieties were evaluated. Subsequently, 10
inbred lines were selected for diallel analysis; grain yield (GY) and popping expansion (PE) were evaluated in three environments.
A wide variability of popcorn inbred lines was observed based on the AFLP markers. After evaluating the hybrids, a signifi cant
effect was observed for GY and PE, with some experimental hybrids with higher potential GY and PE than the commercial cultivars.
From the diallel analysis, a signifi cant effect was observed for GCA for GY and PE; therefore, the lines differed in the frequency
of favorable alleles, with promising inbred lines for forming hybrids or synthetic varieties. However, for SCA, no signifi cant effect
was observed for these traits. Genetic distance did not correlate with GY and Ŝij, demonstrating an absence of consistency in the
prediction of heterotic groups for popcorn using AFLP markers.


Popcorn is an important agricultural crop that is consumed as a snack food worldwide. In Brazil, the lack of cultivars with high potential grain yield and popping expansion volume is a vital problem. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the gene

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