Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 87, Issue 1–2, pp 217–224 | Cite as

Quantitative trait loci influencing protein and starch concentration in the Illinois Long Term Selection maize strains

  • I. L. Goldman
  • T. R. Rocheford
  • J. W. Dudley


A study was initiated to determine the number, chromosomal location, and magnitude of effect of QTL (quantitative trait loci or locus depending on context) controlling protein and starch concentration in the maize (Zea mays L.) kernel. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was performed on 100 F3 families derived from a cross of two strains, Illinois High Protein (IHP), X Illinois Low Protein (ILP), which had been divergently selected for protein concentration for 76 generations as part of the Illinois Long Term Selection Experiment. These families were analyzed for kernel protein and starch in replicated field trials during 1990 and 1991. A series of 90 genomic and cDNA clones distributed throughout the maize genome were chosen for their ability to detect RFLP between IHP and ILP. These clones were hybridized with DNA extracted from the 100 F3 families, revealing 100 polymorphic loci. Single factor analysis of variance revealed significant QTL associations of many loci with both protein and starch concentration (P < 0.05 level). Twenty-two loci distributed on 10 chromosome arms were significantly associated with protein concentration, 19 loci on 9 chromosome arms were significantly associated with starch concentration. Sixteen of these loci were significant for both protein and starch concentration. Clusters of 3 or more significant loci were detected on chromosome arms 3L, 5S, and 7L for protein concentration, suggesting the presence of QTL with large effects at these locations. A QTL with large additive effects on protein and starch concentration was detected on chromosome arm 3L. RFLP alleles at this QTL were found to be linked with RFLP alleles at the Shrunken-2 (Sh2) locus, a structural gene encoding the major subunit of the starch synthetic enzyme ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. A multiple linear regression model consisting of 6 significant RFLP loci on different chromosomes explained over 64 % of the total variation for kernel protein concentration. Similar results were detected for starch concentration. Thus, several chromosomal regions with large effects may be responsible for a significant portion of the changes in kernel protein and starch concentration in the Illinois Long Term Selection Experiment.

Key words

Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) Mapping Illinois Long Term Selection Experiment Quantitative trait loci (QTL) Protein Starch Zea mays L. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bae JM, Giroux M, Hannah LC (1990) Cloning and characterization of the Brittle-2 gene of maize. Maydica 35:317–322Google Scholar
  2. Bennett D (1975) The T-locus of the mouse. Cell 6:441–454Google Scholar
  3. Bhave MR, Lawrence S, Barton C, Hannah LC (1990) Identification and moelcular characterization of Shrunken-2 cDNA clones of maize. Plant Cell 2:581–588Google Scholar
  4. Chourey PS, Nelson OE (1976) The enzymatic deficiency conditioned by the shrunken-1 mutations in maize. Biochem Genet 14:1041–1055Google Scholar
  5. Coe E (1992) Gene list and working maps. Maize Genet Coop Newsl 66:127–159Google Scholar
  6. Comstock RE, Robinson HF (1948) Estimates of average dominance of genes, p. 494–516. In: Gowen JW (ed) Heterosis. Iowa State College Press, Ames, IowaGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickinson DB, Preiss J (1969) ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase from maize endosperm. Arch Biochem Biophys 130:119–128Google Scholar
  8. Dudley JW (1977) Seventy-six generations of selection for oil and protein percentage in maize. In: Pollack E, Kempthorne O, Bailey TB Jr (eds) Proc Int Conf Quant Genet. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, pp 459–474Google Scholar
  9. Dudley JW, Lambert RJ (1992) Ninety generations of selection for oil and protein in maize. Maydica 37:1–7Google Scholar
  10. Edwards MD, Stuber CW, Wendel JF (1987) Molecular-marker-facilitated investigations of quantitative trait loci in maize. 1. Numbers, genomic distribution and types of gene action. Genetics 116:113–125PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Edwards MD, Helentjaris T, Wright S, Stuber CW (1992) Molecular-marker-facilitated investigation of quantitative trait loci in maize. 4. Analysis based on genome saturation with isozyme and restriction fragment length polymorphism markers. Theor Appl Genet 83:765–774Google Scholar
  12. Feinberg A, Vogelstein B (1983) A technique for radiolabeling DNA restriction endonuclease fragments to high specific activity. Anal Biochem 132:6–13PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Glover DV (1988) Corn protein and starch-genetics, breeding, and value in foods and feeds. Am Seed Trade Assoc Proc 43:106–130Google Scholar
  14. Hoisington D (1991) University of Missouri RFLP procedures manual. University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.Google Scholar
  15. Hopkins CG (1899) Improvement in the chemical composition of the corn kernel. Ill Agric Exp Stn Bull 55:205–240Google Scholar
  16. Hymowitz T, Dudley JW, Collins FI, Brown CM (1974) Estimations of protein and oil concentration in corn, soybean, and oat seed by near-infrared light reflectance. Crop Sci 14:167–170Google Scholar
  17. Keim P, Diers BW, Shoemaker RC (1990) Genetic analysis of soybean hard seededness with molecular markers. Theor Appl Genet 79:465–469Google Scholar
  18. Lander ES, Botstein D (1989) Mapping Mendelian factors underlying quantitative traits using RFLP linkage maps. Genetics 121:185–199PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee M (1991) Iowa State RFLP procedures manual. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IowaGoogle Scholar
  20. Mather K, Jinks J (1977) Introduction to biometrical genetics. Cornell University press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Mertz ET, Bates LS, Nelson OE (1964) Mutant gene that changes protein composition and increases lysine content in maize endosperm. Science 145:279–280CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Osborn TC, Alexander DC, Fobes JF (1987) Identification of restriction fragment length polymorphisms linked to genes controlling soluble solids content in tomato fruit. Theor Appl Genet 73:350–356Google Scholar
  23. Paterson AH, Lander ES, Hewitt JD, Peterson S, Lincoln SE, Tanksley SD (1988) Resolution of quantitative traits into Mendelian factors, using a complete linkage map of restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Nature 355:721–726Google Scholar
  24. Pontecorvo G (1950) New fields in the biochemical genetics of micro-organisms. Biochem Soc Symp Vol 4. Cambridge, England, pp 40–50Google Scholar
  25. Preiss J (1982) Regulation of the biosynthesis and degradation of starch. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 33:431–454Google Scholar
  26. Reiter RS, Coors JG, Sussman MR, Gabelman WH (1991) Genetic analysis of tolerance to low-phosphorous stress in maize using restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Theor Appl Genet 82:561–568Google Scholar
  27. Robertson DS (1985) A possible technique for isolating genic DNA for quantitative traits in plants. J Theor Biol 117:1–10Google Scholar
  28. Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T (1989) Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 2nd edn. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.Google Scholar
  29. Saghai-Maroof MA, Soliman KM, Jorgensen RA, Allard RW (1984) Ribosomal DNA spacer-length polymorphisms in barley: Mendelian inheritance, chromosomal location, and population dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 81:8014–8018PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Schmidt RJ, Burr FA, Auckermann MJ, Burr B (1990) Maize regulatory gene opaque-2 encodes a protein with a “leucinezipper” motif that binds to zein DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci 87:46–50Google Scholar
  31. Sheldon E, Ferl R, Federoff N, Hannah LC (1983) Isolation and analysis of a genomic clone encoding sucrose synthetase in maize: evidence for two introns in sh. Mol Gen Genet 190:421–426Google Scholar
  32. Sughroue and Rocheford (1993) Restriction fragment length polymorphism among Illinois long term selection strains. Theor Appl Genet (in press)Google Scholar
  33. Thompson JN (1975) Quantitative variation and gene number. Nature 258:665–668Google Scholar
  34. Tsai CY, Nelson OE (1966) Starch deficient maize mutants lacking adenosine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase activity. Science 151:341–343Google Scholar
  35. Young ND, Zamir D, Ganal MW, Tanksley SD (1988) Use of isogenic lines and simultaneous probing to identify DNA markers tightly linked to the Tm-2a gene in tomato. Genetics 120:579–585Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. L. Goldman
    • 1
  • T. R. Rocheford
    • 1
  • J. W. Dudley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations