Submitted to: Keystone Symposia
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2010
Publication Date: 1/7/2011
Citation: Chen, J., Burke, J.J., Xu, W., Burow, G.B. 2011. Dissection of Heat Tolerance Mechanisms in Maize [abstract]. Keystone Symposia. p. 63.
Technical Abstract: Heat stress severely limits plant productivity and causes extensive economic loss to US agriculture. Understanding heat adaptation mechanisms in crop plants is crucial to the success of developing heat tolerant varieties. Heat waves (heat stress) often occur sporadically during the growing season on the US High Plains, causing irreversible damage to maize developing leaves (leaf firing) and destructive desiccation of tassel tissues (tassel blasting). This heat-induced damage results in a significant reduction in photosynthetic tissues, reproductive tissue development, pollen production, pollen shed, total biomass production, and grain yield. Despite years of research addressing heat stress tolerance, little is known about the mechanisms of heat tolerance in maize. Field evaluation shows that maize inbred lines vary greatly in heat tolerance. A new project aims at dissecting the regulation and genetic control of heat tolerance traits in maize has been initiated. Maize inbred lines with contrasting heat tolerance phenotypes at different developmental stages have been identified and used to generate mapping populations. Two RIL populations within NAM population suitable for QTL analysis of heat tolerance have also been identified. Preliminary analysis identified four independent genetic traits that contribute to the variation in heat tolerance in field-grown maize.