Validation and Characterization of Maize Multiple Disease Resistance QTL


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Genetics Society of America


Southern Leaf Blight, Northern Leaf Blight, and Gray Leaf Spot, caused by ascomycete fungi, are among the most important foliar diseases of maize worldwide. Previously, disease resistance quantitative trait loci (QTL) for all three diseases were identified in a connected set of chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL) populations designed for the identification of disease resistance QTL. Some QTL for different diseases co-localized, indicating the presence of multiple disease resistance (MDR) QTL. The goal of this study was to perform an independent test of several of the MDR QTL identified to confirm their existence and derive a more precise estimate of allele additive and dominance effects. Twelve F-2:3 family populations were produced, in which selected QTL were segregating in an otherwise uniform genetic background. The populations were assessed for each of the three diseases in replicated trials and genotyped with markers previously associated with disease resistance. Pairwise phenotypic correlations across all the populations for resistance to the three diseases ranged from 0.2 to 0.3 and were all significant at the alpha level of 0.01. Of the 44 QTL tested, 16 were validated (identified at the same genomic location for the same disease or diseases) and several novel QTL/disease associations were found. Two MDR QTL were associated with resistance to all three diseases. This study identifies several potentially important MDR QTL and demonstrates the importance of independently evaluating QTL effects following their initial identification.



Disease, Maize, QTL, Resistance, Genetics of Immunity