Genetic resolution and verification of quantitative trait loci for flowering and plant height with recombinant inbred lines of maize

Genome. 1996 Oct;39(5):957-68. doi: 10.1139/g96-120.


Recombinant inbred (RI) lines offer several advantages for detecting quantitative trait loci (QTLs), including increased precision of trait measurements, power for detection of additive effects, and resolution of linked QTLs. This study was conducted to detect and characterize QTLs in maize for flowering and plant height and to compare QTL detection in an early (F2:3) generation of the same population. One hundred and eighty-six RIs from a cross between inbred lines Mo17 and H99 were evaluated in a replicated field experiment and analyzed at 101 loci detected by restriction fragment length polymorphisms. QTLs were identified by single-factor analysis of variance. A total of 59 QTLs were detected for plant height, ear height, top height, anthesis, silk emergence, and anthesis to silk interval. Individual QTLs explained 2.2-15.4% of trait variation, and multiple models including all QTLs detected for a trait explained up to 52.5% of the phenotypic variation. Comparison of QTLs detected with 150 F2:3 lines from the same population indicated that 16 (70%) of the 23 F2:3 QTLs were also observed in the F6:7 generation. Parental effects were consistent across generations. At 14 of the 16 QTLs detected in both generations, genetic effects were smaller in the F6:7. Also, some QTLs detected in the F2:3 were resolved into multiple linked QTLs in the F6:7, indicating the additional power of RI populations for mapping, with important implications for marker-assisted selection as well as map-based cloning of QTLs. Key words : Zea mays, RFLP, plant breeding, genetics, recombination.