QTLs for agronomic and cell wall traits in a maize RIL progeny derived from a cross between an old Minnesota13 line and a modern Iodent line

Yves Barrière, Valérie Méchin, Bruno Lefevre, Stéphane Maltese
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2012, 125 (3): 531-49
In order to contribute to the inventory of genomic areas involved in maize cell wall lignification and degradability, QTL analyses were investigated in a RIL progeny between an old Minnesota13 dent line (WM13) and a modern Iodent line (RIo). Significant variation for agronomic- and cell wall-related traits was observed for the RIL per se (plants without ears) and topcross (whole plants) experiments after crossing with both old (Ia153) and modern tester (RFl) lines. Three QTLs for stover (plant without ear) yield were observed in per se experiments, with alleles increasing yield originating from RIo in two genomic locations with the highest effects. However, no QTL for whole plant yield was detected in topcross experiments, despite the fact that two QTLs for starch content were shown with increasing alleles originating from the modern RIo line. Fifteen lignin QTLs were shown, including a QTL for Klason lignins in per se experiments, located in bin 2.04, which explained 43 % of the observed genetic variation. Thirteen QTLs for p-hydroxycinnamic acid contents and nine QTLs related to the monomeric composition of lignin were shown in per se experiments, with syringaldehyde and diferulate QTLs explaining nearly 25 % of trait variations. Nine and seven QTLs for cell wall digestibility were mapped in per se and topcross experiments, respectively. Five of the per se QTLs explained more than 15 % of the variation, up to nearly 25 %. QTL positions in bins 2.06, 5.04, 5.08 and 8.02 for ADL/NDF, IVNDFD, lignin structure and/or p-hydroxycinnamic acid contents have not been previously shown and were thus first identified in the RIo × WM13 progeny. Based on QTL colocalizations, differences in cell wall degradability between RIo and WM13 were less often related to acid detergent lignin (ADL) content than in previous RIL investigations. QTL colocalizations then highlighted the probable importance of ferulate cross linkages in variation for cell wall digestibility. No colocalizations of QTL for cell wall phenolic-related traits were shown with genes involved in monolignol biosynthesis or polymerization. In contrast, colocalizations were most often shown with MYB and NAC transcription factors, including orthologs of master genes involved in Arabidopsis secondary wall assembly. QTL colocalizations also strengthened the probable involvement of members of the CoA-dependent acyltransferase PF02458 family in the feruloylation of arabinoxylan chains.

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