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QTL detection in maize testcross progenies as affected by related and unrelated testers

Abstract

The evaluation of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) per se can be biased by inbreeding depression in case of allogamous species. To overcome this drawback, RILs can be evaluated in combination with testers; however, testers can carry dominant alleles at the quantitative trait loci (QTL), thus hampering their detection. This study was conducted on the maize (Zea mays L.) population of 142 RILs derived from the single cross B73 × H99 to evaluate the role of different testers in affecting: (1) QTL detection, (2) the estimates of their effects, and (3) the consistency of such estimates across testers. Testcrosses (TCs) were produced by crossing RILs with inbred testers B73 [TC(B)], H99 [TC(H)], and Mo17 [TC(M)]. TCs were field tested in three environments. TC(B) mean was higher than TC(H) mean for all traits, while TC(M) mean was the highest for plant vigor traits and grain yield. As to the number of detected QTL, tester Mo17 was superior to H99 and B73 for traits with prevailing additive effects. Several overlaps among the QTL were detected in two or all the three TC populations with QTL effects being almost always consistent (same sign). For traits with prevailing dominance–overdominance effects, as grain yield, the poor performing tester H99 was clearly the most effective; fewer overlaps were found and some of them were inconsistent (different sign). Epistatic interactions were of minor importance. In conclusion, the three testers proved to affect QTL detection and estimation of their effects, especially for traits showing high dominance levels.

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Acknowledgments

The study was conducted with the financial support of the Italian Ministry of University and Research, PRIN (Progetti di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale) Project: “Modern approaches of quantitative genetics for the analysis of agronomic traits in maize”.

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Correspondence to Elisabetta Frascaroli.

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Communicated by C.-C. Schön.

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Frascaroli, E., Canè, M.A., Pè, M.E. et al. QTL detection in maize testcross progenies as affected by related and unrelated testers. Theor Appl Genet 118, 993–1004 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-008-0956-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-008-0956-3

Keywords

  • Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis
  • Epistatic Interaction
  • Kernel Weight
  • Grain Yield