Univ Fed Vicosa, Dept Agron, Vicosa, MG - Brazil
 Univ Sao Paulo, Luiz de Queiroz Coll Agr, Dept Genet, Piracicaba, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
SEP 29 2020.
Web of Science Citations:
Increasing low nitrogen (N) tolerance in maize is an important goal for food security and agricultural sustainability. In order to analyze the population structure of tropical maize lines and identify genomic regions associated with low-N tolerance, a set of 64 inbred lines were evaluated under low-N and optimal-N conditions. The low-N Agronomic Efficiency index (LNAE) of each line was calculated. The maize lines were genotyped using 417,112 SNPs markers. The grouping based on the LNAE values classified the lines into two phenotypic groups, the first comprised by genotypes with high LNAE (named H\_LNAE group), while the second one comprised genotypes with low LNAE (named L\_LNAE group). The H\_LNAE and L\_LNAE groups had LNAE mean values of 3,304 and 1,644, respectively. The population structure analysis revealed a weak relationship between genetic and phenotypic diversity. Pairs of lines were identified, having at the same time high LNAE and high genetic distance from each other. A set of 29 SNPs markers exhibited a significant difference in allelic frequencies (Fst > 0.2) between H\_LNAE and L\_LNAE groups. The Pearson's correlation between LNAE and the favorable alleles in this set of SNPs was 0.69. These SNPs could be useful for marker-assisted selection for low-N tolerance in maize breeding programs. The results of this study could help maize breeders identify accessions to be used in the development of low-N tolerant cultivars. (AU)