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Science. 2009 Aug 7;325(5941):714-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1174276.

The genetic architecture of maize flowering time.

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  • 1U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), USA. esb33@cornell.edu

Abstract

Flowering time is a complex trait that controls adaptation of plants to their local environment in the outcrossing species Zea mays (maize). We dissected variation for flowering time with a set of 5000 recombinant inbred lines (maize Nested Association Mapping population, NAM). Nearly a million plants were assayed in eight environments but showed no evidence for any single large-effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Instead, we identified evidence for numerous small-effect QTLs shared among families; however, allelic effects differ across founder lines. We identified no individual QTLs at which allelic effects are determined by geographic origin or large effects for epistasis or environmental interactions. Thus, a simple additive model accurately predicts flowering time for maize, in contrast to the genetic architecture observed in the selfing plant species rice and Arabidopsis.

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PMID:
19661422
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