Genetic analysis of cob resistance to F. verticillioides: another step towards the protection of maize from ear rot

Abstract

Key message

We lay the foundation for further research on maize resistance to Fusarium verticillioides cob rot by identifying a candidate resistance gene.

Abstract

Fusarium verticillioides ear rot is the most common type of maize ear rot in the Huanghuaihai Plain of China. Ear rot resistance includes cob and kernel resistance. Most of the current literature concentrates on kernel resistance, and genetic studies on cob resistance are scarce. We aimed on identifying the QTLs responsible for F. verticillioides cob rot (FCR) resistance. Twenty-eight genes associated with 48 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified (P < 10−4) to correlate with FCR resistance using a whole-genome association study. The major quantitative trait locus, qRcfv2, for FCR resistance was identified on chromosome 2 through linkage mapping and was validated in near-isogenic line populations. Two candidate genes associated with two SNPs were detected in the qRcfv2 region with a lower threshold (P < 10−3). Through real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR, one candidate gene was found to have no expression in the cob but the other was expressed in response to F. verticillioides. These results lay a foundation for research on the resistance mechanisms of cob and provide resources for marker-assisted selection.

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Funding

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31671281), the International (Regional) Joint Research Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31761143009) and the Co-construction State Key Laboratory of Wheat and Crop Science of China.

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Correspondence to Jiafa Chen or Jianyu Wu.

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Communicated by Beat Keller.

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Mu, C., Gao, J., Zhou, Z. et al. Genetic analysis of cob resistance to F. verticillioides: another step towards the protection of maize from ear rot. Theor Appl Genet 132, 1049–1059 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-018-3258-4

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