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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344795

Title: Numerous genetic loci identified for drought tolerance in the maize nested association mapping populations

item LI, CHUNHUI - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item SUN, BAOCHENG - Xinjiang Agricultural University
item LI, YONGXIANG - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item LIU, CHENG - Xinjiang Agricultural University
item WU, XUN - Chinese Academy Of Agriculture & Mechanical Sciences
item ZHANG, DENGFENG - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item SHI, YUNSU - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item SONG, YANCHUN - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Buckler, Edward - Ed
item ZHANG, ZHIWU - Washington State University
item WANG, TIANYU - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item LI, YU - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences

Submitted to: BMC Genomics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2016
Publication Date: 11/8/2016
Citation: Li, C., Sun, B., Li, Y., Liu, C., Wu, X., Zhang, D., Shi, Y., Song, Y., Buckler IV, E.S., Zhang, Z., Wang, T., Li, Y. 2016. Numerous genetic loci identified for drought tolerance in the maize nested association mapping populations. Biomed Central (BMC) Genomics. 17:894.

Interpretive Summary: Crop productivity is directly related to water availability and use. While there is little crops can do with long term drought, resilience to short term drought conditions produced by weather variability can be enhanced. This study used the largest public set of genetic mapping germplasm developed in both US and China to identify natural variation controlling drought tolerance, and then developed models to predict drought tolerant varieties. This knowledge will contribute in the development of more drought tolerant maize varieties across the world.

Technical Abstract: Maize requires more water than most other crops; therefore, the water use efficiency of this crop must be improved for maize production under undesirable land and changing environmental conditions. To elucidate the genetic control of drought in maize, we evaluated approximately 5000 inbred lines from 30 linkage-association joint mapping populations under two contrasting water regimes for seven drought-related traits, including yield and anthesis-silking interval (ASI). The joint linkage analysis was conducted to identify 220 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) under well-watered conditions and 169 QTLs under water-stressed conditions. The genome-wide association analysis identified 365 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with drought-related traits, and these SNPs were located in 354 candidate genes. Fifty-two of these genes showed significant differential expression in the inbred line B73 under the well-watered and water-stressed conditions. In addition, genomic predictions suggested that the moderate-density SNPs obtained through genotyping-by-sequencing were able to make accurate predictions in the nested association mapping population for drought-related traits with moderate-to-high heritability under the water-stressed conditions. The results of the present study provide important information that can be used to understand the genetic basis of drought stress responses and facilitate the use of beneficial alleles for the improvement of drought tolerance in maize.