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Analysis of quantitative disease resistance to southern leaf blight and of multiple disease resistance in maize, using near-isogenic lines

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Maize inbred lines NC292 and NC330 were derived by repeated backcrossing of an elite source of southern leaf blight (SLB) resistance (NC250P) to the SLB-susceptible line B73, with selection for SLB resistance among and within backcross families at each generation. Consequently, while B73 is very SLB susceptible, its sister lines NC292 and NC330 are both SLB resistant. Previously, we identified the 12 introgressions from NC250P that differentiate NC292 and NC330 from B73. The goals of this study were to determine the effects of each introgression on resistance to SLB and to two other foliar fungal diseases of maize, northern leaf blight and gray leaf spot. This was achieved by generating and testing a set of near isogenic lines carry single or combinations of just two or three introgressions in a B73 background. Introgressions 3B, 6A, and 9B (bins 3.03–3.04, 6.01, and 9.02–9.03) all conferred significant levels of SLB resistance in the field. Introgression 6A was the only introgression that had a significant effect on juvenile plant resistance to SLB. Introgressions 6A and 9B conferred resistance to multiple diseases.

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The authors would like to thank the following people who helped with various aspects of the research: James Holland, George Van Esbroek, Abbey Sutton, David Rhyne, Jill Recker and Donna Stephens. We thank Janet Shurtleff, Carole Saravitz and the staff of the NCSU Phytotron for the use of their facilities and their excellent technical assistance. We thank Dan Gorman and Pioneer Hi-Bred for donating space for our GLS field trials and for planting and managing the nurseries. We thank Cathy Herring and the staff of Central Crops Research Station for their expert help. This work was funded by the USDA-ARS, and by a grant from the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program. JSC’s fellowship is funded by Monsanto.

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Correspondence to Peter J. Balint-Kurti.

Additional information

A. R. Belcher and J. C. Zwonitzer made equal contributions to the paper.

Communicated by M. Xu.

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Belcher, A.R., Zwonitzer, J.C., Cruz, J.S. et al. Analysis of quantitative disease resistance to southern leaf blight and of multiple disease resistance in maize, using near-isogenic lines. Theor Appl Genet 124, 433–445 (2012).

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  • Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Incomplete Block
  • Gray Leaf Spot
  • Introgression Effect
  • Northern Leaf Blight