Analysis of genetic recombination in maize populations using molecular markers

L. Tulsieram, W. A. Compton, R. Morris, M. Thomas-Compton, K. Eskridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Variation in recombination rate is important to plant breeders since a major objective is to obtain favorable recombinants of linked genes. The ability to increase recombination (R) in circumstances in which favorable and unvavorable genes are linked (Corn Belt x exotic populations) and to decrease recombination when many favorable genes are linked (narrow-based, elite populations) would be of immense value. However, the concept of variation in recombination frequencies between linked genes has received limited attention despite its implications in breeding and genetic linkage studies. Molecular techniques have allowed better estimations of this variation. In this study, attempts were made to characterize: (1) the R values in the Pgm1-Adh1 and Adh1-Phi1 adjacent regions of chromosome 1 and the Idh2-Mdh2 region of chromosome 6 in F2 families of three maize (Zea mays L.) populations; (2) the environmental effect on R values of F2s from two populations. One population, NSO, was a Corn Belt synthetic, and the other two populations, CBMEX3 and CBCAR5, were composites from crosses between Corn Belt and exotic germ-plams. Wide ranges of estimated recombination ( {Mathematical expression}) values were observed among families in each population for all three chromsomal regions. The distribution of {Mathematical expression} values for the Pgm1-Adh1 region showed that the F2 families of each population fell into two broad categories: 0.30-0.50 and 0.02-0.20. No intermediates (0.21-0.29) were found. The distributions were almost normal for the Adh1-Phi1 and the Idh2-Mdh2 regions. It would appear that the major dispersion in the Pgm1-Adh1 region was controlled by the effects of a single gene, while the Adh1-Phi1 and Idh2-Mdh2 regions were only affected by polygenes. No correlation was found between recombination values of the two adjacent regions, indicating that the genes affecting recombination for the Pgm1-Adh1 region may be specific for that region. For the Pgm1-Adh1 region, no differences in {Mathematical expression} values were found among the three populations. For the Adh1-Phi1 region, {Mathematical expression} frequencies of CBMEX3 and NSO were not significantly different, but both had significantly greater {Mathematical expression} values than CBCAR5. For the Idh2-Mdh2 region, CBMEX3 was significantly different from NSO. There were significant differences between some paired F2 families within each population for each chromosome region. No significant differences in response to the two environments were detected in CBMEX3 and NSO for either region in chromosome 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1992


  • Environmental effects
  • Maize
  • Recombination frequency
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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