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Identification of quantitative trait loci for agronomic and physiological traits in maize (Zea mays L.) under high-nitrogen and low-nitrogen conditions

He, Kunhui, Chang, Liguo, Dong, Yuan, Cui, Tingting, Qu, Jianzhou, Liu, Xueyan, Xu, Shutu, Xue, Jiquan, Liu, Jianchao
Euphytica 2018 v.214 no.1 pp. 15
Zea mays, agronomic traits, chromosome mapping, chromosomes, corn, genetic improvement, inbred lines, marker-assisted selection, nitrogen, quantitative trait loci
Low-nitrogen (LN) tolerance is a compound character with a complex genetic basis. Many agronomic traits have been shown to be closely related to LN tolerance in maize. In this study, 150 F₇ recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between inbreds 178 and K12 were evaluated for agronomical and physiological traits under high-nitrogen (HN) and LN conditions in 2 years. Inclusive composite interval mapping (ICIM) was used to identify the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for traits recorded under different treatments (LN and HN) in 2 years. In total, 86 QTLs were detected: 38 for HN and 35 for LN, while 13 QTLs were detected under both nitrogen levels, suggesting that LN-specific QTLs may play a role in improving LN tolerance in maize. Overlapping QTLs for different traits were located on all chromosomes except chromosome 4 and chromosome 9. Many of these regions overlapped with previously reported QTLs. Several consensus major QTLs and LN-specific major QTLs found in the study can be used in marker-assisted selection breeding for genetic improvement and LN tolerance in maize in the future.