Abstract: There is a worldwide concern about a possible narrowing of the genetic base of most crops, as e.g. that of rice (Oryza sativa L.), as a result of the modern breeding practices. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate this phenomenon in the germplasm of elite paddy rice in southern Brazil, including frequently used accessions in crosses. The panel consisted of 91 accessions. Data of morphological traits, SNP markers and mineral content of husked and polished grain were analyzed by hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis. The SNP markers and hierarchical clustering proved most appropriate to assess the genetic variability. A narrowing of the genetic base of rice was confirmed, although a certain level of genetic variability was still found in the germplasm of elite paddy rice in south Brazilian rice, particularly for grain mineral content.
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