QTL for fatty acid composition of maize kernel oil in Illinois High Oil x B73 backcross-derived lines

James J. Wassom, Venugopal Mikkelineni, Martin O. Bohn, Torbert R. Rocheford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maize (Zea mays L.) produces high-quality oil valued for oxidative stability and low concentrations of saturated fatty acids. The nutritional value of maize oil could be improved by increasing the concentration of oleic acid, a "heart-friendly" monounsaturated fatty acid. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for the major fatty acids constituting oil from maize kernels, we produced 150 backcross1-derived S1 (BC1S1) lines from donor parent, Illinois High Oil (IHO), and recurrent parent, B73. There was a positive phenotypic correlation between oil and oleic acid (r p = 0.47 **, α ≤ 0.01) and negative correlations between oil and linoleic acid (rp = -0.46 **), and between oleic and linoleic acids (rp = -0.99**). Multiple regression models with QTL detected by composite interval mapping (CIM) on a genetic map with length = 1486 cM, explained 15.4, 41.6, 51.0, 59.6, and 47.9% of the phenotypic variation for palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linotenic acids, respectively. A 6-cM interval on chromosome 6 (bin 6.04) includes QTL for stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids, explains 10.9 to 39.6% of the variation for these fatty acids, and is 10 to 16 cM from QTL for oil. Another region on chromosome 6 (bin 6.01) includes QTL for oleic and linoleic acids and was epistatic with the QTL in bin 6.04. One or both of these two QTL regions on chromosome 6 may be responsible for fatty acid variation previously attributed to linoleic acid1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalCrop Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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