Genetic diversity in Algerian maize (Zea mays L) landraces using SSR markers


In the Sahara, maize (Zea mays L) has been adapted to extreme environmental conditions during the last five centuries; therefore, this germplasm has a potential value as source of tolerance to stress. No previous report of the genetic diversity of Saharan maize has been published so far. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic diversity of a collection of Saharan maize. Fifteen accessions representing the geographic diversity of Algeria were characterized with 18 SSR. Most loci (93%) were polymorphic; the total amount of alleles was 87 and the average of alleles per locus was 5.8. The total genetic diversity (He) was 0.57, being 69% intra-accessions and 31% inter-accession. Eight of the alleles were accession-specific and belonged to six populations. Genetic distance among the 15 accessions resulted in the definition of three main clusters related to the geographic origin. Maize germplasm from the Algerian Sahara can be classified at least in three groups and the most variable acces¬sions are in the southern oasis. Some accessions were highly variable and can be sources of favorable alleles for breeding for tolerance to extreme stress conditions.


Algeria; genetic diversity; maize; Sahara; SSR; Zea mays

Full Text: