Meta-analysis of QTL involved in silage quality of maize and comparison with the position of candidate genes

Theor Appl Genet. 2010 Nov;121(8):1465-82. doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1402-x. Epub 2010 Jul 25.


A meta-analysis of quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with plant digestibility and cell wall composition in maize was carried out using results from 11 different mapping experiments. Statistical methods implemented in "MetaQTL" software were used to build a consensus map, project QTL positions and perform meta-analysis. Fifty-nine QTL for traits associated with digestibility and 150 QTL for traits associated with cell wall composition were included in the analysis. We identified 26 and 42 metaQTL for digestibility and cell wall composition traits, respectively. Fifteen metaQTL with confidence interval (CI) smaller than 10 cM were identified. As expected from trait correlations, 42% of metaQTL for digestibility displayed overlapping CIs with metaQTL for cell wall composition traits. Coincidences were particularly strong on chromosomes 1 and 3. In a second step, 356 genes selected from the MAIZEWALL database as candidates for the cell wall biosynthesis pathway were positioned on our consensus map. Colocalizations between candidate genes and metaQTL positions appeared globally significant based on χ(2) tests. This study contributed in identifying key chromosomal regions involved in silage quality and potentially associated genes for most of these regions. These genes deserve further investigation, in particular through association mapping.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*
  • Silage / standards*
  • Zea mays / genetics*