Amol Nankar, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Lubbock, TX and Richard Pratt, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
The degree of relatedness between different landraces of maize within a region cannot be understood until representative accessions have been characterized by examining phenotypic or genotypic traits. This research was designed to characterize the agronomic and morphological diversity of blue corn landraces from the Borderland region of the southwestern USA. Specific objectives were to examine the agronomic performance and phenotypic diversity of representative landraces, and one Corn Belt open-pollinated population, were evaluated in two environments of New Mexico. A total of 43 traits were evaluated at pre and post-harvest stages. Variability seen in pre-harvest traits was lower in comparison with post-harvest traits. Among post-harvest traits, kernel traits varied more than ear traits. Pre and post-harvest traits were fairly consistent within individual location and across all locations. Principle component analysis (PCA) showed that post-harvest traits were more appropriate traits for classification than the pre-harvest traits as more distinct groups were seen during post-harvest PCA analysis. Future research will utilize genotypic diversity in assessing the genetic diversity of blue corn landraces.