Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 86, Issue 2–3, pp 213–220 | Cite as

Quantitative expression of maize HSPs: genetic dissection and association with thermotolerance

  • C. Frova
  • M. S. Gorla


In higher plants, within-species qualitative polymorphism for heat shock proteins (HSPs) is extremely rare, even between genotypes showing different heritable levels of thermotolerance. Here we have explored the amount of quantitative variability in HSP synthesis in maize. We have analyzed the quantitative expression of the typical HSPs in a set of recombinant inbreds (RIs) derived from the f1 hybrid between a thermotolerant (T232)- and a thermosensitive (CM37)-genotype, characterized for about 200 mapped RFLP loci. Significant differences were detected in the level of expression of five HSPs, and their frequency distribution in the RI population is that of a quantitative trait. Subsequent mapping of loci controlling the characters, based on RFLP analysis, confirmed the multigenic control of HSP expression: the regression analysis of the band intensities of each variant HSP on RFLPs revealed, for the different HSPs, a minimum number of three to eight quantitative trait loci (QTLs) accounting for a high proportion (0.35–0.60) of the genetic variability of these bands. An analysis of the correlation between the variability of HSPs and that of cellular membrane stability, a cellular component of thermotolerance, did not reveal any significant association of the two parameters.

Key words

Heat shock proteins Quantitative expression Restriction fragment length polymorphism Thermotolerance Maize 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Frova
    • 1
  • M. S. Gorla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and MicrobiologyUniversity of MilanoMilanoItaly

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