Genetic distance studies on maize and teosinte based on biochemical assays

Electrophoretic pattern of seed proteins, and isoenzymes, namely peroxidase and esterase at the young seedling stage have been studied among the races of maize and teosinte. The homology between all pairs of the sample was calculated, and the similarity indices were obtained for proteins, peroxidase and esterase isoenzymes. A cumulative similarity index was prepared by adding the similarity indices between the pairs of races/species studied. Genetic distances were worked out from these cumulative similarities indices. Phylogenetic relationship is depicted in a two-dimensional diagram with the point of best fit.

The material studied can be divided into three main groups with teosinte represented by Zea mexicana, Zea luxurians and Zea diploperennis at one end, and the maize races having low knob number (Confite Morocho, Imbricado and Palomero Toluqueno) at the other extreme. The races Nal-Tel, Pira and Arrocillo Amarillo and Sikkim Primitive (S.P.-1) lie in the middle. The races Nal-Tel and Pira have been recognized a long time as having been introgressed by teosinte. The grouping of S.P.-1 with Pira and Nal-Tel indicates that so-called Sikkim Primitive of the northeastern Himalayas is an advanced form of maize.


Andy Pereira, N. O. Sharma, J. K. S. Sachan and K. R. Sarkar

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.

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