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Identification of a major quantitative trait locus for ear size induced by space flight in sweet corn

Author(s): Y.T. Yu, G.K. Li, Z.L. Yang, J.G. Hu, J.R. Zheng and X.T. Qi

The development of molecular markers has contributed to progress in identifying the gene(s) responsible for favorable variations in maize studies. In this study, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was conducted using simple sequence repeat markers in an F2 sweet corn population from a cross between parental line 1132 and space flight-induced mutant line 751 to identify the loci contributing to an increase in some yield traits. A primary mutated genomic region was located on chromosome 9. In total, 26 QTL were detected for eight yield-related traits and assembled into three clusters on chromosome 9. The largest QTL cluster at bin 9.02/03, primarily contributing to >10% of the phenotypic variation in ear and cob diameters, was likely due to a major QTL. Desired alleles of these QTL were provided by the mutant line 751. The primary action of the major mutant allele was an additive effect. Another mutant locus, which was induced in bin 9.01, increased cob and ear diameters by dominant genetic action.