Exploring the genetic characteristics of two recombinant inbred line populations via high-density SNP markers in maize

Qingchun Pan, Farhan Ali, Xiaohong Yang, Jiansheng Li, Jianbing Yan
PloS One 2012, 7 (12): e52777
Understanding genetic characteristics can reveal the genetic diversity in maize and be used to explore evolutionary mechanisms and gene cloning. A high-density linkage map was constructed to determine recombination rates (RRs), segregation distortion regions (SDRs), and recombinant blocks (RBs) in two recombinant inbred line populations (RILs) (B73/By804 and Zong3/87-1) generated by the single seed descent method. Population B73/By804 containing 174 lines were genotyped with 198 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers while population Zong3/87-1 comprised of 175 lines, were genotyped with 210 SSR markers along with 1536 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for each population, spanning 1526.7 cM and 1996.2 cM in the B73/By804 and Zong3/87-1 populations, respectively. The total variance of the RR in the whole genome was nearly 100 fold, and the maximum average was 10.43-11.50 cM/Mb while the minimum was 0.08-0.10 cM/Mb in the two populations. The average number of RB was 44 and 37 in the Zong3/87-1 and B73/By804 populations, respectively, whereas 28 SDRs were observed in both populations. We investigated 11 traits in Zong3/87-1 and 10 traits in B73/By804. Quantitative trait locus (QTLs) mapping of SNP+SSR with SNP and SSR marker sets were compared to showed the impact of different density markers on QTL mapping and resolution. The confidence interval of QTL Pa19 (FatB gene controlling palmitic acid content) was reduced from 3.5 Mb to 1.72 Mb, and the QTL Oil6 (DGAT1-2 gene controlling oil concentration) was significantly reduced from 10.8 Mb to 1.62 Mb. Thus, the use of high-density markers considerably improved QTL mapping resolution. The genetic information resulting from this study will support forthcoming efforts to understand recombination events, SDRs, and variations among different germplasm. Furthermore, this study will facilitate gene cloning and understanding of the fundamental sources of total variation and RR in maize, which is the most widely cultivated cereal crop.

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