Quantitative trait locus analysis of drought tolerance and yield in maize in China uri icon

abstract

  • Drought accounts for significant yield losses in crops. Maize (Zea mays L.) is particularly sensitive to water stress at reproductive stages, and breeding to improve drought tolerance has been a challenge. By use of a linkage map with 121 single sequence repeat (SSR) markers, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for grain yield and yield components were characterized in the population of the cross X178xB73 under water-stressed and well-watered conditions. Under the well-watered regime, 2, 4, 4, 1, 2, 2, and 3 QTLs were identified for grain yield, 100-kernel weight, kernel number per ear, cob weight per ear, kernel weight per ear, ear weight, and ear number per plant, respectively, whereas under the water-stressed conditions, 1, 5, 2, 6, 1, 3, and 2 QTLs, respectively, were found. The significant phenotypic correlations among yield and yield components to some extent were observed under both water conditions, and some overlaps between the corresponding QTLs were also found. QTLs for grain yield and kernel weight per ear under well-watered conditions and ear weight under both well-watered and water-stressed conditions over lapped, and all were located on chromosome 1.03 near marker bnlg 176. Two other noticeable QTL regions were on chromosome 9.05 and 9.07 near markers umc1657 and bnlg1525; the first corresponded to grain yield, kernel weight per ear, and ear weight under well-watered conditions and kernel number per ear under both water conditions, and the second to grain yield and cob weight per ear under water-stressed conditions and ear number per plant under both water conditions. A comparative analysis of the QTLs herein identified with those described in previous studies for yield and yield components in different maize populations revealed a number of QTLs in common. These QTLs have potential use in molecular marker-assisted selection.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005