ABSTRACT A major challenge facing those involved in the testing of new plant varieties for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) is the need to compare them against all those of 'common knowledge'. A set of maize inbred lines was used to compare how morphological, physiological characterization and RAPD molecular marker described variety relationships. All the inbred lines were confirmed as morphologically and physiologically distinct. At morphological level the maximum genetic distance (10.8) and least genetic distance (1.6) were found. For physiological characters distance varied from 0.35 to 1.92 and results from dendrogram, which was made on the basis of dissimilarity matrix, were grouped into five major clusters. From RAPD, random primers provide polymorphic amplification products; the distance varying 0.42 to 0.65 and dendrogram showed that these lines formed close clusters due to the less variation in these lines at molecular level. In the present study, the molecular markers also exposed useful genetic diversity and the visual displays appeared to disperse the lines somewhat more evenly over the plot than the morphological and physiological methods.
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