QTL involved in the partial restoration of male fertility of C-type cytoplasmic male sterility in maize

  • Susanne Kohls
  • Peter Stamp
  • Carsten Knaak
  • Rainer Messmer
Original Paper


Partial restoration of male fertility limits the use of C-type cytoplasmic male sterility (C-CMS) for the production of hybrid seeds in maize. Nevertheless, the genetic basis of the trait is still unknown. Therefore, the aim to this study was to identify genomic regions that govern partial restoration by means of a QTL analysis carried out in an F2 population (n = 180). This population was derived from the Corn Belt inbred lines B37C and K55. F2BC1 progenies were phenotyped at three locations in Switzerland. Male fertility was rated according to the quality and number of anthers as well as the anthesis-silking interval. A weak effect of environment on the expression of partial restoration was reflected by high heritabilities of all fertility-related traits. Partial restoration was inherited like an oligogenic trait. Three major QTL regions were found consistently across environments in the chromosomal bins 2.09, 3.06 and 7.03. Therefore, a marker-assisted counter-selection of partial restoration is promising. Minor QTL regions were found on chromosomes 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. A combination of partial restorer alleles at different QTL can lead to full restoration of fertility. The maternal parent was clearly involved in the partial restoration, because the restorer alleles at QTL in bins 2.09, 6.04 and 7.03 originated from B37. The three major QTL regions collocated with other restorer genes of maize, a phenomenon, which seems to be typical for restorer genes. Therefore, a study of the clusters of restorer genes in maize could lead to a better understanding of their evolution and function. In this respect, the long arm of chromosome 2 is particularly interesting, because it harbors restorer genes for the three major CMS systems (C, T and S) of maize.


Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Male Fertility Restorer Gene Partial Restoration F2BC1 Family 
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.



We are grateful to Karl-Heinz Camp and Delley Seeds and Plants Ltd (Delley, Switzerland), Mario Bertossa and Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil in Cadenazzo (Switzerland) and Ernst Weiss for their support of the field trials. Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon (Zurich, Switzerland) provided access to JoinMap 4.0. We further thank Marianne Wettstein for her excellent technical assistance and Angela Steinauer, Adrian Ramseyer and Marylène Maillard for their assistance in the collection of data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Kohls
    • 1
  • Peter Stamp
    • 1
  • Carsten Knaak
    • 2
  • Rainer Messmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Agricultural SciencesSwiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.KWS Saat AGEinbeckGermany

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