Molecular-marker-facilitated investigations of quantitative trait loci in maize
- Cite this article as:
- Edwards, M.D., Helentjaris, T., Wright, S. et al. Theoret. Appl. Genetics (1992) 83: 765. doi:10.1007/BF00226696
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Restriction fragment length polymorphisms have become powerful tools for genetic investigations in plant species. They allow a much greater degree of genome saturation with neutral markers than has been possible with isozymes or morphological loci. A previous investigation employed isozymes as genetic markers to infer the location of genetic factors influencing the expression of quantitative traits in the maize population: (CO159×Tx303)F2. This investigation was conducted to examine the inferences that might be derived using a highly saturated map of RFLP markers and isozymes to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in the same maize F2 population. Marker loci that were associated with QTL effects in this investigation generally corresponded well with previous information where such comparisons were possible. Additionally, a number of previously unmarked genomic regions were found to contain factors with large effects on some plant traits. Availability of numerous marker loci in some genomic regions allowed: more accurate localization of QTLs, resolution of linkage between QTLs affecting the same traits, and determination that some chromsome regions previously found to affect a number of traits are likely to be due to linkage of QTLs affecting different traits. Many of the factors that affected plant height quantitatively in this investigation were found to map to regions also including known sites of major genes influencing plant height. Although the data are not conclusive, they suggest that some of the identified QTLs may be allelic to known major genes affecting plant height.