Variation of DNA fingerprints among accessions within maize inbred lines and implications for identification of essentially derived varieties: II. Genetic and technical sources of variation in AFLP data and comparison with SSR data

Martin Heckenberger, Jeroen Rouppe Van Der Voort, Albrecht E. Melchinger, Johan Peleman, Martin Bohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Accuracy and reproducibility of genetic distances (GDs) based on molecular markers are crucial issues for identification of essentially derived varieties (EDVs). Our objectives were to investigate (1) the amount of variation for amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers found among different accessions within maize inbreds and doubled haploid (DH) lines, (2) the proportion attributable to genetic and technical components and marker system specific sources, (3) its effect on GDs between maize lines and implications for identification of EDVs, and (4) the comparison to published SSR data from the same plant materials. Two to five accessions from nine inbred lines and five DH lines were taken from different sources of maintenance breeding or drawn as independent samples from the same seed lot. Each of the 41 accessions was genotyped with 20 AFLP primer combinations revealing 988 AFLP markers. Map positions were available for 605 AFLPs covering all maize chromosomes. On average, six (0.6%) AFLP bands were polymorphic between different accessions of the same line. GDs between two accessions of the same line averaged 0.013 for inbreds and 0.006 for DH lines. The correlation of GDs based on AFLPs and SSRs was tight (r = 0.97**) across all 946 pairs of accessions but decreased (r = 0.55**) for 43 pairs of accessions originating from the same line. On the basis of our results, we recommend specific EDV thresholds for marker systems with different degree of polymorphism. In addition, precautions should be taken to warrant a high level of homogeneity for DNA markers within maize lines before applying for plant variety protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003



  • AFLPs
  • Essentially derived varieties
  • Genetic distances
  • Intra-varietal variation
  • Reproducibility
  • SSRs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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