Genetic dissection of maize phenology using an intraspecific introgression library.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Collections of nearly isogenic lines where each line carries a delimited portion of a donor source genome into a common recipient genetic background are known as introgression libraries and have already shown to be instrumental for the dissection of quantitative traits. By means of marker-assisted backcrossing, we have produced an introgression library using the extremely early-flowering maize (Zea mays L.) variety Gaspé Flint and the elite line B73 as donor and recipient genotypes, respectively, and utilized this collection to investigate the genetic basis of flowering time and related traits of adaptive and agronomic importance in maize. RESULTS: The collection includes 75 lines with an average Gaspé Flint introgression length of 43.1 cM. The collection was evaluated for flowering time, internode length, number of ears, number of nodes (phytomeres), number of nodes above the ear, number and proportion of nodes below the ear and plant height. Five QTLs for flowering time were mapped, all corresponding to major QTLs for number of nodes. Three additional QTLs for number of nodes were mapped. Besides flowering time, the QTLs for number of nodes drove phenotypic variation for plant height and number of nodes below and above the top ear, but not for internode length. A number of apparently Mendelian-inherited phenotypes were also observed. CONCLUSIONS: While the inheritance of flowering time was dominated by the well-known QTL Vgt1, a number of other important flowering time QTLs were identified and, thanks to the type of plant material here utilized, immediately isogenized and made available for fine mapping. At each flowering time QTL, early flowering correlated with fewer vegetative phytomeres, indicating the latter as a key developmental strategy to adapt the maize crop from the original tropical environment to the northern border of the temperate zone (southern Canada), where Gaspé Flint was originally cultivated. Because of the trait differences between the two parental genotypes, this collection will serve as a permanent source of nearly isogenic materials for multiple studies of QTL analysis and cloning.
Project description:The genetic dissection of root architecture and functions allows for a more effective and informed design of novel root ideotypes and paves the way to evaluate their effects on crop resilience to a number of abiotic stresses. In maize, limited attention has been devoted to the genetic analysis of root architecture diversity at the early stage. The difference in embryonic (including seminal and primary) root architecture between the maize reference line B73 (which mostly develops three seminal roots) and the landrace Gaspé Flint (with virtually no seminal roots) was genetically dissected using a collection of introgression lines grown in paper rolls and pots. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis identified three QTLs controlling seminal root number (SRN) on chromosome bins 1.02, 3.07, and 8.04-8.05, which collectively explained 66% of the phenotypic variation. In all three cases, Gaspé Flint contributed the allele for lower SRN. Primary root dry weight was negatively correlated with SRN (r= -0.52), and QTLs for primary root size co-mapped with SRN QTLs, suggesting a pleiotropic effect of SRN QTLs on the primary root, most probably caused by competition for seed resources. Interestingly, two out of three SRN QTLs co-mapped with the only two known maize genes (rtcs and rum1) affecting the number of seminal roots. The strong additive effect of the three QTLs and the development of near isogenic lines for each QTL in the elite B73 background provide unique opportunities to characterize functionally the genes involved in root development and to evaluate how root architecture affects seedling establishment, early development, and eventually yield in maize.
Project description:The kernel number is a grain yield component and an important maize breeding goal. Ear length, kernel number per row and ear row number are highly correlated with the kernel number per ear, which eventually determines the ear weight and grain yield. In this study, two sets of F2:3 families developed from two bi-parental crosses sharing one inbred line were used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for four kernel number-related traits: ear length, kernel number per row, ear row number and ear weight. A total of 39 QTLs for the four traits were identified in the two populations. The phenotypic variance explained by a single QTL ranged from 0.4% to 29.5%. Additionally, 14 overlapping QTLs formed 5 QTL clusters on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 7, and 10. Intriguingly, six QTLs for ear length and kernel number per row overlapped in a region on chromosome 1. This region was designated qEL1.10 and was validated as being simultaneously responsible for ear length, kernel number per row and ear weight in a near isogenic line-derived population, suggesting that qEL1.10 was a pleiotropic QTL with large effects. Furthermore, the performance of hybrids generated by crossing 6 elite inbred lines with two near isogenic lines at qEL1.10 showed the breeding value of qEL1.10 for the improvement of the kernel number and grain yield of maize hybrids. This study provides a basis for further fine mapping, molecular marker-aided breeding and functional studies of kernel number-related traits in maize.
Project description:Purple corn is a maize variety (Zea mays L.) with high anthocyanin content. When purple corn is used as forage, its anthocyanins may mitigate oxidative stresses causing lower milk production in dairy cows. In this study, we analyzed quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for anthocyanin pigmentation of maize organs in an F2 population derived from a cross between the Peruvian cultivar 'JC072A' (purple) and the inbred line 'Ki68' (yellowish) belonged to Japanese flint. We detected 17 significant QTLs on chromosomes 1-3, 6, and 10. Because the cob accounts for most of the fresh weight of the plant ear, we focused on a significant QTL for purple cob on chromosome 6. This QTL also conferred pigmentation of anther, spikelet, leaf sheath, culm, and bract leaf, and was confirmed by using two F3 populations. The gene Pl1 (purple plant 1) is the most likely candidate gene in this QTL region because the amino acid sequence encoded by Pl1-JC072A is similar to that of an Andean allele, Pl-bol3, which is responsible for anthocyanin production. The markers designed for the Pl1 alleles will be useful for the breeding of F1 lines with anthocyanin pigmentation in cobs.
Project description:Maize is unique among cereal grasses because of its monoecious flowering habit. Male flowers are normally restricted to the tassel that terminates the primary shoot, whereas female flowers occur as ears at the terminal nodes of lateral branches. We observed Ki14, a tropical maize inbred that produces an ear tipped by a staminate (male) spike under certain environmental conditions, such as long daylengths. Recombinant inbred lines derived from the cross between temperate line B97, which was never observed to produce a staminate ear tip, and Ki14 segregated for the trait under long daylengths. Some progeny lines that had even longer staminate tips than Ki14 were male fertile. We mapped three QTL controlling staminate ear tip using a two-part (binomial plus normal) model. A major QTL on chromosome 3 had a large effect on penetrance of the trait (whether a line would produce staminate ear tips or not) as well as its severity (the length of the staminate tip). This QTL seems to be linked to, but at a distinct position from, a previously mapped QTL controlling the proportion of staminate florets in ears in progeny from crosses between maize and teosinte. Two additional QTL affecting staminate ear tip severity overlapped with QTL controlling photoperiod response previously mapped in this population. Alleles conferring photoperiod sensitivity for delayed flowering at these QTL seem to enhance the production of staminate ear tips under long daylengths.
Project description:When handling a structured population in association mapping, group-specific allele effects may be observed at quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for several reasons: (i) a different linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs and QTLs across groups, (ii) group-specific genetic mutations in QTL regions, and/or (iii) epistatic interactions between QTLs and other loci that have differentiated allele frequencies between groups. We present here a new genome-wide association (GWAS) approach to identify QTLs exhibiting such group-specific allele effects. We developed genetic materials including admixed progeny from different genetic groups with known genome-wide ancestries (local admixture). A dedicated statistical methodology was developed to analyze pure and admixed individuals jointly, allowing one to disentangle the factors causing the heterogeneity of allele effects across groups. This approach was applied to maize by developing an inbred "Flint-Dent" panel including admixed individuals that was evaluated for flowering time. Several associations were detected revealing a wide range of configurations of allele effects, both at known flowering QTLs (Vgt1, Vgt2 and Vgt3) and new loci. We found several QTLs whose effect depended on the group ancestry of alleles while others interacted with the genetic background. Our GWAS approach provides useful information on the stability of QTL effects across genetic groups and can be applied to a wide range of species.
Project description:The leaf number above the primary ear (LA) is a major contributing factor to plant architecture in maize. The yield of leafy maize, which has extra LA compared to normal maize, is higher than normal maize in some regions. One major concern is that increasing LA may be accompanied by increased plant height and/or flowering time. Using an F2:3 population comprising 192 families derived from a leafy maize line and a normal maize line, an association population comprising 437 inbred maize lines, and a pair of near-isogenic maize lines, we mapped the quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with LA and assessed its genetic relationship with flowering time and plant height. Ten QTL with an additive and dominant effect, 18 pairs of interacting QTL in the F2:3 population and seventeen significant SNPs in the association population were detected for LA. Two major QTL, qLA3-4 and qLA7-1, were repeatedly detected and explained a large proportion of the phenotypic variation. The qLA3-4 was centered on lfy1, which is a dominant gene underlying extra leaves above the ear in leafy maize. Four LA QTL were found to overlap with flowering time and/or plant height, which suggested that these QTL might have a pleiotropic effect. The pleiotropy of the lfy1 locus on LA, flowering time and plant height were validated by near-isogenic line analysis. These results enhance our understanding of the genetic architecture affecting maize LA and the development of maize hybrids with increased LA.
Project description:Plant Architecture Related Traits (PATs) are of great importance for maize breeding, and mainly controlled by minor effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs). However, cloning or even fine-mapping of minor effect QTLs is very difficult in maize. Theoretically, large population and high density genetic map can be helpful for increasing QTL mapping resolution and accuracy, but such a possibility have not been actually tested.Here, we employed a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) strategy to construct a linkage map with 16,769 marker bins for 1021 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Accurately mapping of well studied genes P1, pl1 and r1 underlying silk color demonstrated the map quality. After QTL analysis, a total of 51 loci were mapped for six PATs. Although all of them belong to minor effect alleles, the lengths of the QTL intervals, with a minimum and median of 1.03 and 3.40 Mb respectively, were remarkably reduced as compared with previous reports using smaller size of population or small number of markers. Several genes with known function in maize were shown to be overlapping with or close neighboring to these QTL peaks, including na1, td1, d3 for plant height, ra1 for tassel branch number, and zfl2 for tassel length. To further confirm our mapping results, a plant height QTL, qPH1a, was verified by an introgression lines (ILs).We demonstrated a method for high resolution mapping of minor effect QTLs in maize, and the resulted comprehensive QTLs for PATs are valuable for maize molecular breeding in the future.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Utilization of heterosis in maize could be critical in maize breeding for boosting grain yield. However, the genetic architecture of heterosis is not fully understood. To dissect the genetic basis of yield-related traits and heterosis in maize, 301 recombinant inbred lines derived from 08 to 641?×?YE478 and 298 hybrids from the immortalized F2 (IF2) population were used to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for nine yield-related traits and mid-parent heterosis. RESULTS:We observed 156 QTLs, 28 pairs of loci with epistatic interaction, and 10 significant QTL?×?environment interactions in the inbred and hybrid mapping populations. The high heterosis in F1 and IF2 populations for kernel weight per ear (KWPE), ear weight per ear (EWPE), and kernel number per row (KNPR) matched the high percentages of QTLs (over 50%) for those traits exhibiting overdominance, whereas a notable predominance of loci with dominance effects (more than 70%) was observed for traits that show low heterosis such as cob weight per ear (CWPE), rate of kernel production (RKP), ear length (EL), ear diameter (ED), cob diameter, and row number (RN). The environmentally stable QTL qRKP3-2 was identified across two mapping populations, while qKWPE9, affecting the trait mean and the mid-parent heterosis (MPH) level, explained over 18% of phenotypic variations. Nine QTLs, qEWPE9-1, qEWPE10-1, qCWPE6, qEL8, qED2-2, qRN10-1, qKWPE9, qKWPE10-1, and qRKP4-3, accounted for over 10% of phenotypic variation. In addition, QTL mapping identified 95 QTLs that were gathered together and integrated into 33 QTL clusters on 10 chromosomes. CONCLUSIONS:The results revealed that (1) the inheritance of yield-related traits and MPH in the heterotic pattern improved Reid (PA)?×?Tem-tropic I (PB) is trait-dependent; (2) a large proportion of loci showed dominance effects, whereas overdominance also contributed to MPH for KNPR, EWPE, and KWPE; (3) marker-assisted selection for markers at genomic regions 1.09-1.11, 2.04, 3.08-3.09, and 10.04-10.05 contributed to hybrid performance per se and heterosis and were repeatedly reported in previous studies using different heterotic patterns is recommended.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Ostrinia nubilalis (ECB) and Sesamia nonagrioides (MCB) are two maize stem borers which cause important losses in temperate maize production, but QTL analyses for corn borer resistance were mostly restricted to ECB resistance and maize materials genetically related (mapping populations derived from B73). Therefore, the objective of this work was to identify and characterize QTLs for MCB resistance and agronomic traits in a RILs population derived from European flint inbreds. RESULTS: Three QTLs were detected for stalk tunnel length at bins 1.02, 3.05 and 8.05 which explained 7.5% of the RILs genotypic variance. The QTL at bin 3.05 was co-located to a QTL related to plant height and grain humidity and the QTL at bin 8.05 was located near a QTL related to yield. CONCLUSIONS: Our results, when compared with results from other authors, suggest the presence of genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis or fortification with effects on resistance to different corn borer species and digestibility for dairy cattle. Particularly, we proposed five candidate genes related to cell wall characteristics which could explain the QTL for stalk tunnelling in the region 3.05. However, the small proportion of genotypic variance explained by the QTLs suggest that there are also many other genes of small effect regulating MCB resistance and we conclude that MAS seems not promising for this trait. Two QTLs detected for stalk tunnelling overlap with QTLs for agronomic traits, indicating the presence of pleitropism or linkage between genes affecting resistance and agronomic traits.
Project description:Ethylene (ET) is critical importance in the growth, development, and stress responses of plants. Plant hormonal stress responses have been extensively studied, however, the role of ET in plant growth, especially plant height (PH) remains unclear. Understanding the genetic control for PH in response to ET will provide insights into the regulation of maize development. To clarify the genetic basis of PH-related traits of maize in response to ET, we mapped QTLs for PH, ear height (EH), and internode length above the uppermost ear (ILAU) in two recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations of Zea mays after ET treatment and in an untreated control (CK) group. Sixty QTLs for the three traits were identified. Twenty-two QTLs were simultaneously detected under both ET treatment and untreated control, and five QTLs were detected at two geographic locations under ET treatment only. Individual QTL can be explained 3.87-17.71% of the phenotypic variance. One QTL (q2PH9-1, q1PH9, q1EH9/q1ILAU9-1, q2ILAU9, and q2EH9) for the measured traits (PH, EH, ILAU) was consistent across both populations. Two QTLs (q2PH2-5, q2ILAU2-2, q1PH2-2, and q1ILAU2-2; q1PH8-1, q1EH8-1, q2PH8-1) were identified for up to two traits in both locations and populations under both ET treatment and untreated control. These consistent and stable regions are important QTLs of potential hot spots for PH, ear height (EH), and internode length above the uppermost ear (ILAU) response to ET in maize; therefore, QTL fine-mapping and putative candidate genes validation should enable the cloning of PH, EH, and ILAU related genes to ET response. These results will be valuable for further fine-mapping and quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) determination, and elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of ET responses in maize.