The genetic relationships among 81 maize accessions consisting 79 landraces and two improved varieties, maintained by farmers in southern Brazil were investigated using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Thirty-two highly informative primers amplified 255 markers of which 184 (72.2%) were polymorphics. Based on the RAPD markers, a dendrogram was constructed using the UPGMA method. The range of genetic similarity was from 0.78 to 0.91. The molecular data grouped the accessions into two main clusters, which were correlated according to kernel colors. Small clusters were seen associated to characteristics, such as kernel morphology. The analysis of the molecular data revealed that maize management adopted by small-scale farmers has contributed to the maintenance of genetic variability and since field isolation is a regular practice, variety identities have been preserved. These results will be useful to establish and maintain a germplasm collection of landrace maize and may guide us in designing strategies that maximize the utility of maize genetic resources
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