Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 119–128 | Cite as

Quantitative trait loci for maysin synthesis in maize (Zea mays L.) lines selected for high silk maysin content

  • J. D. F. Meyer
  • M. E. Snook
  • K. E. Houchins
  • B. G. Rector
  • N. W. Widstrom
  • M. D. McMullen
Original Paper


Maysin is a naturally occurring C-glycosyl flavone found in maize (Zea mays L.) silk tissue that confers resistance to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea, Boddie). Recently, two new maize populations were derived for high silk maysin. The two populations were named the exotic populations of maize (EPM) and the southern inbreds of maize (SIM). Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was employed to determine which loci were responsible for elevated maysin levels in inbred lines derived from the EPM and SIM populations. The candidate genes consistent with QTL position included the p (pericarp color), c2 (colorless2), whp1 (white pollen1) and in1 (intensifier1) loci. The role of these loci in controlling high maysin levels in silks was tested by expression analysis and use of the loci as genetic markers onto the QTL populations. These studies support p, c2 and whp1, but not in1, as loci controlling maysin. Through this study, we determined that the p locus regulates whp1 transcription and that increased maysin in these inbred lines was primarily due to alleles at both structural and regulatory loci promoting increased flux through the flavone pathway by increasing chalcone synthase activity.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. F. Meyer
    • 1
    • 5
  • M. E. Snook
    • 2
    • 6
  • K. E. Houchins
    • 3
  • B. G. Rector
    • 4
    • 7
  • N. W. Widstrom
    • 4
  • M. D. McMullen
    • 3
  1. 1.Genetics Area ProgramUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Plant Genetics Research UnitUSDA Agricultural Research Service, and Division of Plant SciencesColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Crop Genetics and Breeding Research UnitUSDA Agricultural Research Service, Coastal Plain Experiment StationTiftonUSA
  5. 5.Department of HorticultureUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  6. 6.Richard Russell Research CenterUSDA-ARSAthensUSA
  7. 7.European Biological Control LaboratoryUSDA-ARS, Campus International de Balillarguet, CS 90013Montferrier Sur LezFrance

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