Genetic and QTL analysis of maize tassel and ear inflorescence architecture

N. Upadyayula, H. S. Da Silva, Martin O Bohn, T. R. Rocheford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maize (Zea mays L.) ear inflorescence architecture is directly relevant to grain yield components, and tassel architecture is relevant to hybrid seed production. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine heritabilities and correlations of a comprehensive set of tassel and ear inflorescence architecture traits in a set of (Illinois Low ProteinxB73) B73 S1 families, (2) identify chromosomal positions of QTL affecting tassel and ear architecture, and (3) identify possible candidate genes associated with these QTL. For tassel traits, the number of detected QTL ranged from one to five, and explained between 6.5 and 35.9% of phenotypic variation. For ear traits, the number of detected QTL ranged from one to nine and phenotypic variation explained by those QTL varied between 7.9 and 53.0%. We detected QTL for tassel architecture traits that required calculation of ratios from measured traits. Some of these calculated traits QTL were detected in regions that did not show QTL for the measured traits, suggesting that calculation of ratios may reveal developmentally relevant patterns of tassel architecture. We detected a QTL on chromosome 7 for tassel branch number near the gene ramosa1 (ra1), which is known to control tassel branch number, making ra1 a candidate gene for tassel branch number. We detected QTL for several traits on chromosomes 6, 8, and 9, where no inflorescence architecture genes have been mapped, thus providing initial information towards new gene discovery for control of inflorescence architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-606
Number of pages15
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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