Genetic loci mapping associated with maize kernel number per ear based on a recombinant inbred line population grown under different nitrogen regimes

X H Liu, S L He, Z P Zheng, Z B Tan, Z Li, C He
Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR 2011, 10 (4): 3267-74
Kernel number per ear (KNE) is one of the most important yield-related agronomic traits in maize (Zea mays). To clarify its genetic basis, we made a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of KNE in a recombinant inbred line population derived from lines Mo17 and Huangzao4, under two nitrogen (N) regimes. Seven QTLs, on chromosomes 4, 6 and 9, were mapped under the high N regime, which explained phenotypic variation ranging from 5.03 to 15.49%. Under the low N regime, three QTLs were located on chromosomes 6 and 9, which accounted for phenotypic variation ranging from 8.54 to 12.21%. These QTLs had different mapping intervals to their nearest markers, ranging from 0 to 16.5 cM. According to the chromosome positions and genetic effects of these QTLs, only seven QTLs for KNE were identified in our experiment, out of which three were found under both N regimes, on chromosomes 6 (one) and 9 (two); the other four were mapped only under the high N regime, on chromosomes 4 (three) and 6 (one). This information could be useful for developing marker-assisted selection in maize-breeding projects.

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