QTL mapping for European corn borer resistance ( Ostrinia nubilalis Hb.), agronomic and forage quality traits of testcross progenies in early-maturing European maize ( Zea mays L.) germplasm

C Papst, M Bohn, H F Utz, A E Melchinger, D Klein, J Eder
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2004, 108 (8): 1545-54
In hybrid breeding the performance of lines in hybrid combinations is more important than their performance per se. Little information is available on the correlation between individual line and testcross (TC) performances for the resistance to European corn borer (ECB, Ostrinia nubilalis Hb.) in maize ( Zea mays L.). Marker assisted selection (MAS) will be successful only if quantitative trait loci (QTL) found in F(2) derived lines for ECB resistance are still expressed in hybrid combinations. The objectives of our study were: (1) to identify and characterize QTL for ECB resistance as well as agronomic and forage quality traits in a population of testcrossed F(2:3) families; (2) to evaluate the consistency of QTL for per se and TC performances; and (3) to determine the association between per se and TC performances of F(2:3) lines for these traits. Two hundred and four F(2:3) lines were derived from the cross between maize lines D06 (resistant) and D408 (susceptible). These lines were crossed to D171 and the TC progenies were evaluated for ECB resistance and agronomic performance in two locations in 2000 and 2001. Using these TC progenies, six QTL for stalk damage rating (SDR) were found. These QTL explained 27.4% of the genotypic variance in a simultaneous fit. Three QTL for SDR were detected consistently for per se and TC performance. Phenotypic and genotypic correlations were low for per se and TC performance for SDR. Correlations between SDR and quality traits were not significant. Based on these results, we conclude that MAS will not be an efficient method for improving SDR. However, new molecular tools might provide the opportunity to use QTL data as a first step to identify genes involved in ECB resistance. Efficient MAS procedures might then be based on markers designed to trace and to combine specific genes and their alleles in elite maize breeding germplasm.

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