RFLP markers and predicted testcross performance of maize sister inbreds

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Inbreds selfed from the same F2 or backcross population are referred to as sister inbreds. In some situations, maize (Zea mays L.) sister inbreds may not have testcross data available for best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) of single-cross performance. This study evaluated the usefulness of BLUP and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)-based coefficients of coancestry (f) in predicting the testcross performance of sister inbreds. Parental contributions (p) were estimated from 70 RFLP loci for 15 inbreds that comprised three sister inbreds selfed from each of five F2 populations. Estimates of p were subsequently used to calculate RFLP-based f. Grain yield, moisture, and stalk lodging data were obtained for 2265 single crosses tested by Limagrain Genetics in multilocation trials from 1990 to 1995. Performance of the sister inbreds when crossed to several inbred testers was predicted from the performance of the tested single crosses and RFLP-based f. Correlations between predicted and observed performance, obtained with a delete-one cross-validation procedure, were erratic and mostly low for all three traits. Correspondence was poor between ranks for predicted and observed general combining ability of the sister inbreds. The results suggested that the proportion of the genome derived by a sister inbred from a given parental inbred does not solely determine its testcross performance. The failure of BLUP and RFLP-based f to consistently predict testcross performance indicated that actual field testing will continue to be necessary for preliminary evaluation of sister inbreds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-659
Number of pages5
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997


  • Best linear unbiased prediction
  • General combining ability
  • Maize
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism
  • Sister inbreds


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