Genetic divergence and its correlation to heterosis in maize as revealed by SSR-based markers
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Simple Sequence Repeats molecular markers have been used to analyse the genetic relationship among twelve maize inbred lines and to predict heterosis in their crosses. Genetic distance for 66 crosses among 12 inbred lines ranged from 0,123 between pairs Mo17 and ZPL70/9 up to 0.064 between B84 and L155. The UPGMA clustering grouped the inbreds into three clusters. The cluster I consist of inbred lines derived from BSSS germplasm or germplasm related to it. The cluster II contains the Lancaster lines, while cluster III includs two independent lines. Date shows that inbreds most closely related by their pedigree are also closely related on the basis of marker information. The correlation coefficient between heterosis for grain yield and genetic distances based on SSR markers are positive and mainly significant, while their magnitude is not large enough to be beneficiary in prediction of heterosis.