3 years ago

Identification of minor effect QTLs for plant architecture related traits using super high density genotyping and large recombinant inbred population in maize (Zea mays)

Identification of minor effect QTLs for plant architecture related traits using super high density genotyping and large recombinant inbred population in maize (Zea mays)
Andrew Hauck, Han Liu, Jian Chen, Xinmei Zheng, Jing Chen, Zongliang Chen, Jinjie Guo, Chi Gao, Zhipeng Liu, Wei Li, Xiaomei Dong, Baobao Wang, Weibin Song, Yanbin Zhu, Jinsheng Lai
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.
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