Maize has been used effectively as a model organism in the development and evaluation of molecular markers for the identification, mapping and manipulation of major genes affecting the expression of quantitative traits in plants. Although quantitative geneticists have recognized the possibility of major loci, the general dogma had emerged that quantitative traits were controlled by many loci, each with a small effect. This interpretation sent a quantitative traits because it would be essentially impossible to isolate a gene responsible for the trait. Recent results from numerous mapping studies have shown that quantitative traits are controlled by, at least some, factors with major effects, and have given credibility to the conclusion that major loci exist and that one might be able to study them. Positive results from marker-facilitated selection and introgression studies have further strengthened this conclusion.