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Climatic change emphasize the importance of biodiversity maintenance, Suggesting that germplasm adapted to organic, low input, or conventional conditions is needed to face future demands. This Study presents: I - The two steps genesis of the synthetic maize population 'Fandango', A) 'NUTICA' creation: in 1975, Miguel Mota and Silas Pego, initiated a new type of polycross method involving 77 yellow elite inbred lines (dent and flint; 20% Portuguese and 80% North American germplasm) from the NUMI programme (NUcleo de melhoramento de Milho, Braga, Portugal). These inbreds were intermated in natural isolation and progenies submitted to intensive selection for both parents during continued cycles; B) From 'NUTICA' to 'Fandango': Tandango' was composed of all the crosses that resulted from a North Carolina Design I matting design (1 male crossed with 5 females) applied to 'NUTICA'. II - The diversity evolution of 'Fandango' under a Participatory Breeding project at the Portuguese Sousa Valley region (VASO) initiated in 1985 by Pego, with CIMMYT support. Morphological, fasciation expression, and yield trials were conducted in Portugal (3 locations, 3 years) and in the USA (4 locations, I year) using seeds obtained from five to seven cycles of mass selection (MS). The selection across cycles wits clone by the breeder (until cycle 5) and farmer (before cycle II in present). ANOVA and regression analysis on the rate of direct response to selection were performed when the assumption of normality was positively confirmed. Otherwise the non parametric Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) was performed. Response to mass selection in lowa showed significant decrease in yield, while in Portugal a significant increase for time of silking, plant and ear height, ear diameters 2, 37 4, kernel number, cot) diameters, and rachis was observed. At this location also a significant decrease was observed for thousand kernel weight and ear length. These results showed that mass selection were not effective for significant yield increase, except when considered Lousada with breeder selection (3.09% of gain per cycle per year). Some non-para metric methods (MARS, decision trees and random forests) were used to get insights on the causes that explain yield in Fandango. Kernel weight and ear weight were the most important traits, although row numbers, number of kernels per row, ear length, and ear diameter were also of some importance influencing 'Fandango' yield.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)269-285
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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