Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 126, Issue 9, pp 2257–2266 | Cite as

QTL mapping of stalk bending strength in a recombinant inbred line maize population

  • Haixiao Hu
  • Wenxin Liu
  • Zhiyi Fu
  • Linda Homann
  • Frank Technow
  • Hongwu Wang
  • Chengliang Song
  • Shitu Li
  • Albrecht E. MelchingerEmail author
  • Shaojiang ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Stalk bending strength (SBS) is a reliable indicator for evaluating stalk lodging resistance of maize plants. Based on biomechanical considerations, the maximum load exerted to breaking (F max), the breaking moment (M max) and critical stress (σ max) are three important parameters to characterize SBS. We investigated the genetic architecture of SBS by phenotyping F max, M max and σ max of the fourth internode of maize plants in a population of 216 recombinant inbred lines derived from the cross B73 × Ce03005 evaluated in four environments. Heritability of F max, M max and σ max was 0.81, 0.79 and 0.75, respectively. F max and σ max were positively correlated with several other stalk characters. By using a linkage map with 129 SSR markers, we detected two, three and two quantitative trait loci (QTL) explaining 22.4, 26.1 and 17.2 % of the genotypic variance for F max, M max and σ max, respectively. The QTL for F max, M max and σ max located in adjacent bins 5.02 and 5.03 as well as in bin 10.04 for F max were detected with high frequencies in cross-validation. As our QTL mapping results suggested a complex polygenic inheritance for SBS-related traits, we also evaluated the prediction accuracy of two genomic prediction methods (GBLUP and BayesB). In general, we found that both explained considerably higher proportions of the genetic variance than the values obtained in QTL mapping with cross-validation. Nevertheless, the identified QTL regions could be used as a starting point for fine mapping and gene cloning.


Quantitative Trait Locus Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping Genomic Selection Segregation Distortion 
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.



Stalk bending strength


Rind penetrometer resistance


Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy


The fourth internode above ground


The maximum load exerted to breaking


Breaking moment


Critical stress


Larger diameter of cross section


Smaller diameter of cross section


Internode length


Fresh weight of the internode


Dry weight of the internode


Internode water content


Fresh weight of internode per unit volume


Dry weight of internode per unit volume


Acid detergent lignin content per unit volume


Cellulose content per unit volume



We thank Lianying Yu, Baohua Liu and Yan Luo of China Agricultural University for their help in the three-point bending test. We also thank H. Fritz Utz, Tobias Schrag and Xuefei Mi for their suggestions on the data analysis. This research was supported by grants from the Modern Maize Industry Technology System Foundation of China (No. nycytx-02) to S. Chen, DFG, Grant No. 1070/1, International Research Training Group “Sustainable Resource Use in North China” to A.E. Melchinger and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 10972234) to Z. Fu.

Supplementary material

122_2013_2132_MOESM1_ESM.doc (213 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 213 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haixiao Hu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Wenxin Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhiyi Fu
    • 3
  • Linda Homann
    • 4
  • Frank Technow
    • 4
  • Hongwu Wang
    • 5
  • Chengliang Song
    • 3
  • Shitu Li
    • 3
  • Albrecht E. Melchinger
    • 4
    Email author
  • Shaojiang Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.National Maize Improvement Center of ChinaChina Agricultural University (West Campus)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, College of Agronomy and BiotechnologyChina Agricultural University (West Campus)BeijingChina
  3. 3.Applicational Mechanics Department, College of ScienceChina Agricultural University (East Campus)BeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Plant Breeding, Seed Science, and Population GeneticsUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Crop ScienceChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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