Biodiversity Science ›› 2005, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (2): 91-96.doi: 10.1360/biodiv.040130

• Editorial •     Next Article

Impacts of genetic uniformity on maize production in China

Haiming Li1, 3, Shihuang Zhang2, Ruifa Hu1*   

  1. 1 Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 Institute of Crop Breeding and Cultivation, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081
    3 Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039
  • Received:2004-09-06 Revised:2005-01-31 Online:2005-03-20
  • Ruifa Hu

Wide adoption of a few homogeneous lines of germplasm would reduce the genetic diversity of crops, and decrease their resistance and/or tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and therefore reduce the stability of crop production. Based on analysis of pedigrees of varieties from 20 major maize producing provinces in China between 1982-1997, we studied economic impacts of genetic uniformity on maize production. The results indicate that there is a significant negative correlation between genetic uniformity and maize yield. One percent increase of genetic uniformity will cause 13% average yield decline. At the same time, the research also showed that genetic uniformity and variety uniformity are two independent variables. To enrich genetic diversity of the varieties, the government should make policies to increase breeder's incentives to develop new improved varieties using diverse materials.

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