For the first time we have found a laboratory derived data base (RFLP's) that provides a more accurate prediction of F1 yield than do pedigree data. We expect that this is due to the large number of marker "loci" and the abundance of variants that, therefore, allow chromosomal regions to be tracked from parents to progeny with a degree of detail that was hitherto unafforded by isozymic or zein protein data. We suspect that the relatively low correlation between distances measured by RFLP data and heterosis compared to that shown between RFLP and F1 yield data may be due to the reduced ability to accurately measure heterosis between the relatively closely related inbred lines used in this study. In these lines, the average performance of the F2 generation would likely be similar to that of the inbred line per se and the relatively poor performance of the inbred compared to the F1 generation can result in biased estimates of heterosis.
We are continuing on from these preliminary analyses by looking at associations
among a larger set of less closely related inbred lines estimating correlation
between field, pedigree, and laboratory data. This set of data also includes
the immense power of analysis afforded by the technique of two-dimensional
gel electrophoresis which reveals in qualitative and quantitative fashion
on the order of 1,000 individual protein products for each inbred line
(see Higginbotham, Smith, and Smith in this Newsletter).
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