, Volume 81, Issue 6, pp 713-719

Molecular markers (RFLPs and HSPs) for the genetic dissection of thermotolerance in maize

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Cellular membrane stability (CMS) is a physiological index widely used to evaluate thermostability in plants. The genetic basis of the character has been studied following two different approaches: restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, and the effects of segregating heat shock protein (HSP) loci. RFLP analysis was based on a set of recombinant inbreds derived from the T32 × CM37 F1 hybrid and characterized for about 200 RFLP loci. Heritability of CMS estimated by standard quantitative analysis was 0.73. Regression analysis of CMS on RFLPs detected a minimum number of six quantitative trait loci (QTL) accounting for 53% of the genetic variability. The analysis of the matrices of correlation between RFLP loci, either within or between chromosomes, indicates that no false assignment was produced by this analysis. The effect of HSPs on the variability of the CMS was tested for a low-molecular-weight peptide (HSP-17) showing presence-absence of segregation in the B73 × Pa33 F2 population. Although the genetic variability of the character was very high (h 2=0.58) the effect of HSP-17 was not significant, indicating either that the polypeptide is not involved in the determination of the character or that its effect is not statistically detectable.

Communicated by P. L. Pfahler