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Identification of trait-improving quantitative trait loci for grain yield components from a dent corn inbred line in an advanced backcross BC₂F₂ population and comparison with its F₂:₃ population in popcorn

Li, Y. L., Niu, S. Z., Dong, Y. B., Cui, D. Q., Wang, Y. Z., Liu, Y. Y., Wei, M. G.
Theoretical and applied genetics 2007 v.115 no.1 pp. 129-140
alleles, backcrossing, dent corn, germplasm, grain yield, inbreeding, isogenic lines, microsatellite repeats, parents, popcorn, popping, quantitative trait loci, yield components
Normal maize germplasm could be used to improve the grain yield of popcorn inbreds. Our first objective was to locate genetic factors associated with trait variation and make first assessment on the efficiency of advanced backcross quantitative trait locus (AB-QTL) analysis for the identification and transfer of favorable QTL alleles for grain yield components from the dent corn inbred. A second objective was to compare the detection of QTL in the BC₂F₂ population with results using F₂:₃ lines of the same parents. Two hundred and twenty selected BC₂F₂ families developed from a cross between Dan232 and an elite popcorn inbred N04 were evaluated for six grain yield components under two environments, and genotyped by means of 170 SSR markers. Using composite interval mapping (CIM), a total of 19 significant QTL were detected. Eighteen QTL had favorable alleles contributed by the dent corn parent Dan232. Sixteen of these favorable QTL alleles were not in the same or near marker intervals with QTL for popping characteristics. Six QTL were also detected in the F₂:₃ population. Improved N04 could be developed from 210 and 208 families with higher grain weight per plant and/or 100-grain weight, respectively, and 35 families with the same or higher popping expansion volume than N04. In addition, near isogenic lines containing detected QTL (QTL-NILs) for grain weight per plant and/or 100-grain weight could be obtained from 12 families. Our study demonstrated that the AB-QTL method can be applied to identify and manipulate favorable QTL alleles from normal corn inbreds and combine QTL detection and popcorn breeding efficiently.