JOURNAL ARTICLE

Characterization of heterotic quantitative trait loci in maize by evaluation of near-isogenic lines and their crosses at two competition levels

Elisabetta Frascaroli, Maria Angela Canè, Mario Enrico Pè, Giorgio Pea, Pierangelo Landi
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2012, 124 (1): 35-47
21953207
In a previous study on a maize (Zea mays L.) population of recombinant inbreds derived from B73 × H99, we identified several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for agronomic traits with high dominance-additive ratio. Then, for four of these QTL, we developed families of near-isogenic lines (NILs) homozygous either for the QTL allele from B73 (BB) or from H99 (HH); for two of these QTL, the NILs' families were produced in two different genetic backgrounds. The present study was conducted to: (1) characterize these QTL for agronomic traits and (2) verify whether their effects were influenced by the genetic background, inbreeding level and plant density (PD). The six NILs' families were tested across 3 years and in three experiments at different inbreeding levels as NILs per se and their reciprocal crosses (Experiment 1), NILs crossed to related inbreds B73 and H99 (Experiment 2) and NILs crossed to four unrelated inbreds (Experiment 3). Experiment 2 was conducted at two PDs (4.5 and 9.0 plants m(-2)). Results of Experiments 1 and 2 confirmed previous findings as to QTL effects, with dominance-additive ratio superior to 1 for several traits; as a tendency, dominance effects were more pronounced in Experiment 1. The QTL effects were also confirmed in Experiment 3. The interactions involving QTL effects, families and PD were generally negligible, suggesting a certain stability of the QTL. Results emphasize the importance of dominance effects for these QTL, suggesting that they might deserve further studies, using the NILs' families and their crosses as base materials.

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