Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 721–734 | Cite as

Genetic variation at bx1 controls DIMBOA content in maize

  • Ana ButrónEmail author
  • Y. C. Chen
  • G. E. Rottinghaus
  • M. D. McMullen
Original Paper


The main hydroxamic acid in maize (Zea mays L.) is 2-4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA). DIMBOA confers resistance to leaf-feeding by several corn borers. Most genes involved in the DIMBOA metabolic pathway are located on the short arm of chromosome 4, and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) involved in maize resistance to leaf-feeding by corn borers have been localized to that region. However, the low resolution of QTL linkage mapping does not allow convincing proof that genetic variation at bx loci was responsible for the variability for resistance. This study addressed the following objectives: to determine the QTLs involved in DIMBOA synthesis across genetically divergent maize inbreds using eight RIL families from the nested association mapping population, to check the stability of QTLs for DIMBOA content across years by evaluating two of those RIL families in 2 years, and to test the involvement of bx1 by performing association mapping with a panel of 281 diverse inbred lines. QTLs were stable across different environments. A genetic model including eight markers explained approximately 34% of phenotypic variability across eight RIL families and the position of the largest QTL co-localizes with the majority of structural genes of the DIMBOA pathway. Candidate association analysis determined that sequence polymorphisms at bx1 greatly affects variation of DIMBOA content in a diverse panel of maize inbreds, but the specific causal polymorphism or polymorphisms responsible for the QTL detected in the region 4.01 were not identified. This result may be because the causal polymorphism(s) were not sequenced, identity is masked by linkage disequilibrium, adjustments for population structure reduce significance of causal polymorphisms or multiple causal polymorphisms affecting bx1 segregate among inbred lines.


Quantitative Trait Locus Association Mapping Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis Favorable Allele European Corn Borer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Award DBI0321467 and by research funds provided by the USDA Agricultural Research Service to MDM. A. Butrón acknowledges a grant from the ‘Secretaría de Estado de Universidades e Investigación del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia de España’. We thank Kate Guill, and Chris Browne for technical assistance. The authors thank Monika Frey, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany for the gift of purified DIMBOA to be used as a calibration standard. We thank Dr. Sherry Flint-Garcia for assistance in data analysis, and Christopher Bottoms for bioinformatic support. Names of products are necessary to report factually on available data; however, neither the USDA nor any other participating institution guarantees or warrants the standard of the product, and the use of the name does not imply approval of the product or the exclusion of others that may also be suitable.

Supplementary material

122_2009_1192_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (73 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 72.9 kb)


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Butrón
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y. C. Chen
    • 2
  • G. E. Rottinghaus
    • 2
  • M. D. McMullen
    • 3
  1. 1.Misión Biológica de Galicia (CSIC)PontevedraSpain
  2. 2.Veterinary Medical Diagnostic LaboratoryUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Plant Genetics Research Unit, USDA-Agricultural Research Service and the Division of Plant SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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