Verification of QTL for grain starch content and its genetic correlation with oil content using two connected RIL populations in high-oil maize

Guohu Yang, Yongbin Dong, Yuling Li, Qilei Wang, Qingling Shi, Qiang Zhou
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e53770
Grain oil content is negatively correlated with starch content in maize in general. In this study, 282 and 263 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) developed from two crosses between one high-oil maize inbred and two normal dent maize inbreds were evaluated for grain starch content and its correlation with oil content under four environments. Single-trait QTL for starch content in single-population and joint-population analysis, and multiple-trait QTL for both starch and oil content were detected, and compared with the result obtained in the two related F(2∶3) populations. Totally, 20 single-population QTL for grain starch content were detected. No QTL was simultaneously detected across all ten cases. QTL at bins 5.03 and 9.03 were all detected in both populations and in 4 and 5 cases, respectively. Only 2 of the 16 joint-population QTL had significant effects in both populations. Three single-population QTL and 8 joint-population QTL at bins 1.03, 1.04-1.05, 3.05, 8.04-8.05, 9.03, and 9.05 could be considered as fine-mapped. Common QTL across F(2∶3) and RIL generations were observed at bins 5.04, 8.04 and 8.05 in population 1 (Pop.1), and at bin 5.03 in population 2 (Pop.2). QTL at bins 3.02-3.03, 3.05, 8.04-8.05 and 9.03 should be focused in high-starch maize breeding. In multiple-trait QTL analysis, 17 starch-oil QTL were detected, 10 in Pop.1 and 7 in Pop.2. And 22 single-trait QTL failed to show significance in multiple-trait analysis, 13 QTL for starch content and 9 QTL for oil content. However, QTL at bins 1.03, 6.03-6.04 and 8.03-8.04 might increase grain starch content and/or grain oil content without reduction in another trait. Further research should be conducted to validate the effect of these QTL in the simultaneous improvement of grain starch and oil content in maize.

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