Genetic diversity of 24 tropical and subtropical elite maize lines was assessed at molecular level employ-ing 42 Simple Sequence Repeats. A total of 107 alleles with an average of 2.55 alleles per locus were detected. The Polymorphism Information Content (PIC) values of 42 SSR loci ranged from 0.08 (UMC1428) to 0.68 (UMC2189 and UMC2332) with the overall calculated PIC mean value of 0.44, whereas the Discrimination Rate (DR) value for SSR markers ranged from 0.09 (UMC2089) to 0.42 (UMC1311) with the average DR value of 0.26. Pair-wise genet-ic similarity (GS) values, calculated by Jaccardâ€™s coefficients, ranged between 0.25 and 0.78 with a mean genetic similarity of 0.63, indicating the existence of adequate amount of genetic divergence among the genotypes selected for the study. The cluster dendrogram separated all the inbred lines into six main clusters with sub clusters based on genetic similarity. Factorial analysis also confirmed a nearly similar pattern for grouping these inbred lines as pre-sented by cluster dendrogram. In this study, SSR markers were found to be powerful tool for detection of genetic diversity in maize inbred lines. These findings could provide information for effective utilization of these materials for development of maize hybrids as well as for genetic improvement of inbred lines.
Genetic diversity, Inbred lines, Maize, SSR markers, Polymorphism information content
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