|Buckler, Edward - Ed|
Submitted to: Nature Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Differences in flowering time prevent maize (corn) from being easily moved from one region to another region. We have identified an allele at the dwarf8 gene that modifies flowering time by roughly 10 days. If two more genes with similar effect can be identified, it will be possible to rapidly adapt maize to almost any growing region. This is also the first large- scale application of association approaches to plant genetics. Through this research, we have developed a rapid methodology for finding and evaluating genes across a wide range of maize germplasm. This approach will be used to find useful variants of many other genes in the future.
Technical Abstract: Mutagenesis and QTL studies suggested that the maize gene dwarf8 might be a gene that affects the quantitative variation of maize flowering time and plant height. We used association approaches to evaluate sequence polymorphisms from 92 maize inbred lines. In order to do this, statistical methods developed in related studies were modified to identify sequence polymorphisms that associate with phenotypic variation across a structured population. Our results indicated a suite of polymorphisms, in linkage disequilibrium with each other, that associate with differences in flowering time and plant height. These polymorphisms included insertions and deletions that may alter the dwarf8 promoter and a key domain in the coding region. This research demonstrates that association approaches can be applied to inbred plant lines to provide a high resolution evaluation of positional candidate genes suggested by the extensive mutagenic and QTL screens currently available.