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Theor Appl Genet. 2010 Aug;121(4):673-87. doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1339-0. Epub 2010 Apr 17.

A major QTL for resistance to Gibberella stalk rot in maize.

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National Maize Improvement Center of China, China Agricultural University, 2 West Yuanmingyuan Road, Beijing, 100193, People's Republic of China.


Fusarium graminearum Schwabe, the conidial form of Gibberella zeae, is the causal fungal pathogen responsible for Gibberella stalk rot of maize. Using a BC(1)F(1) backcross mapping population derived from a cross between '1145' (donor parent, completely resistant) and 'Y331' (recurrent parent, highly susceptible), two quantitative trait loci (QTLs), qRfg1 and qRfg2, conferring resistance to Gibberella stalk rot have been detected. The major QTL qRfg1 was further confirmed in the double haploid, F(2), BC(2)F(1), and BC(3)F(1) populations. Within a qRfg1 confidence interval, single/low-copy bacterial artificial chromosome sequences, anchored expressed sequence tags, and insertion/deletion polymorphisms, were exploited to develop 59 markers to saturate the qRfg1 region. A step by step narrowing-down strategy was adopted to pursue fine mapping of the qRfg1 locus. Recombinants within the qRfg1 region, screened from each backcross generation, were backcrossed to 'Y331' to produce the next backcross progenies. These progenies were individually genotyped and evaluated for resistance to Gibberella stalk rot. Significant (or no significant) difference in resistance reactions between homozygous and heterozygous genotypes in backcross progeny suggested presence (or absence) of qRfg1 in '1145' donor fragments. The phenotypes were compared to sizes of donor fragments among recombinants to delimit the qRfg1 region. Sequential fine mapping of BC(4)F(1) to BC(6)F(1) generations enabled us to progressively refine the qRfg1 locus to a ~500-kb interval flanked by the markers SSR334 and SSR58. Meanwhile, resistance of qRfg1 to Gibberella stalk rot was also investigated in BC(3)F(1) to BC(6)F(1) generations. Once introgressed into the 'Y331' genome, the qRfg1 locus could steadily enhance the frequency of resistant plants by 32-43%. Hence, the qRfg1 locus was capable of improving maize resistance to Gibberella stalk rot.

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