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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (9): 2492-2507    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.007
Special Issue: 玉米遗传育种合辑Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources
Crop Science Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |

Genetic dissection of ear-related traits using immortalized F2 population in maize

GAO Ri-xin1,2, HU Ming-jian1,2, ZHAO Hai-ming1,2, LAI Jin-sheng1,2, SONG Wei-bin1, 2

1 State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry & National Maize Improvement Center, Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China

2 Center for Crop Functional Genomics and Molecular Breeding, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China

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Ear-related traits are often selection targets for maize improvement.  This study used an immortalized F2 (IF2) population to elucidate the genetic basis of ear-related traits.  Twelve ear-related traits (namely, row number (RN), kernel number per row (KNPR), ear length (EL), ear diameter (ED), ten-kernel thickness (TKT), ear weight (EW), cob diameter (CD), kernel length (KL), kernel width (KW), grain weight per ear (GW), 100-kernel weight (HKW), and grain yield per plot (GY)), were collected from the IF2 population.  The ear-related traits were comprised of 265 crosses derived from 516 individuals of the recombinant inbred lines (RILs) under two separated environments in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analyses identified 165 ear traits related QTLs, which explained phenotypic variation ranging from 0.1 to 12.66%.  Among the 165 QTLs, 19 underlying nine ear-related traits (CD, ED, GY, RN, TKT, HKW, KL, GW, and KNPR) were identified across multiple environments and recognized as reliable QTLs.  Furthermore, 44.85% of the total QTLs showed an overdominance effect, and 12.72% showed a dominance effect. Additionally, we found 35 genomic regions exhibiting pleiotropic effects across the whole maize genome, and 17 heterotic loci (HLs) for RN, EL, ED and EW were identified.  The results provide insights into genetic components of ear-related traits and enhance the understanding of the genetic basis of heterosis in maize. 

Keywords:  maize (Zea mays L.)        QTL mapping        genotyping by sequencing        immortalized F2 population        ear-related traits  
Received: 27 December 2020   Accepted: 02 April 2021
Fund: This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0100802 and 2016YFD0101803) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31421005 and 91935303). 
About author:  Correspondence SONG Wei-bin, Tel: +86-10-62734641, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

GAO Ri-xin, HU Ming-jian, ZHAO Hai-ming, LAI Jin-sheng, SONG Wei-bin. 2022.

Genetic dissection of ear-related traits using immortalized F2 population in maize . Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(9): 2492-2507.

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