Mapping QTL associated with photoperiod sensitivity and assessing the importance of QTL×environment interaction for flowering time in maize

Cuiling Wang, Yanhui Chen, Lixia Ku, Tiegu Wang, Zhaohui Sun, Fangfang Cheng, Liancheng Wu
PloS One 2010 November 19, 5 (11): e14068

BACKGROUND: An understanding of the genetic determinism of photoperiod response of flowering is a prerequisite for the successful exchange of germplasm across different latitudes. In order to contribute to resolve the genetic basis of photoperiod sensitivity in maize, a set of 201 recombinant inbred lines (RIL), derived from a temperate and tropical inbred line cross were evaluated in 5 field trials spread in short- and long-day environments.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Firstly, QTL analyses for flowering time and photoperiod sensitivity in maize were conducted in individual photoperiod environments separately, and then, the total genetic effect was partitioned into additive effect (A) and additive-by-environment interaction effect (AE) by using a mixed-model-based composite interval mapping (MCIM) method.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Seven putative QTL were found associated with DPS thermal time based on the data estimated in individual environments. Nine putative QTL were found associated with DPS thermal time across environments and six of them showed significant QTL×enviroment (QE) interactions. Three QTL for photoperiod sensitivity were identified on chromosome 4, 9 and 10, which had the similar position to QTL for DPS thermal time in the two long-day environment. The major photoperiod sensitive loci qDPS10 responded to both short and long-day photoperiod environments and had opposite effects in different photoperiod environment. The QTL qDPS3, which had the greatest additive effect exclusively in the short-day environment, were photoperiod independent and should be classified in autonomous promotion pathway.

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