Identifying quantitative trait loci and determining closely related stalk traits for rind penetrometer resistance in a high-oil maize population

Haixiao Hu, Yujie Meng, Hongwu Wang, Hai Liu, Shaojiang Chen
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2012, 124 (8): 1439-47
Stalk lodging in maize causes annual yield losses between 5 and 20% worldwide. Many studies have indicated that maize stalk strength significantly negatively correlates with lodging observed in the field. Rind penetrometer resistance (RPR) measurements can be used to effectively evaluate maize stalk strength, but little is known about the genetic basis of this parameter. The objective of this study was to explore a genetic model and detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) of RPR and determine relationships between RPR and other stalk traits, especially cell wall chemical components. RPR is quantitative trait in nature, and both additive and non-additive effects may be important to consider for the improvement of RPR. Nine additive-effect QTLs covering nine chromosomes, except chromosome 5, and one pair of epistatic QTLs were detected for RPR. CeSA11 involved in cellulose synthesis and colorless2 involved in lignin synthesis were identified as possible candidate genes for RPR. Internode diameter (InD), fresh weight of internode (FreW), dry weight of internode (DryW), fresh weight and dry weight as well as cell wall components per unit volume significantly positively correlated with RPR. The internode water content (InW) significantly negatively correlated with RPR. Notably, these traits significantly correlated with RPR, and the QTLs of these traits co-localized with those of RPR. The corresponding results obtained from correlation analysis and QTL mapping suggested the presence of pleitropism or linkage between genes and indicated that these different approaches may be used for cross authentication of relationships between different traits.

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