QTL mapping for resistance against the european corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis H.) in early maturing European dent germplasm

M. Bohn, B. Schulz, R. Kreps, D. Klein, A. E. Melchinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The European corn borer (ECB, Ostrinia nubilalis Hubner) is a major pest of maize in Central Europe. We mapped and characterized quantitative trait loci (QTLs) involved in resistance of maize against ECB damage, compared them with QTLs for agronomic traits, and evaluated the usefulness of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for improving ECB resistance in early maturing European maize germplasm. A total 226 F3 families from the cross D06 (resistant) x D408 (susceptible), together with 93 RFLP and two SSR markers were used for the QTL analyses. For each F3 family we measured the length of tunnels produced by larval stalk mining (TL), stalk damage ratings (SDR), and relative grain yield (RGY) in field experiments, with two replications in two environments in 1 year. The agronomic traits comprised grain yield under insecticide protection (GYP) and manual ECB larval infestation (GYI), the date of anthesis (ANT), and the in vitro digestibility of organic matter (IVDOM) of stover. Estimates of genotypic variance (σ2/(g)) were highly significant for all traits. Six QTLs for TL and five QTLs for SDR were detected, explaining about 50.0% of σ(g)/2. Most QTLs showed additive gene action for TL and dominance for SDR. No QTL was found for RGY. The number of QTLs detected for the agronomic traits ranged from two for GYI to 12 for ANT, explaining 12.5 to 57.3% of σ(g)/2, respectively. Only a single QTL was in common between the two resistance traits, as expected from the moderate trait correlation and the moderate proportions of σ(g)/2 explained. Based on these results, MAS for improving ECB resistance can be competitive when cost-effective PCR-based marker systems are applied. However, it remains to be established whether the putative QTL regions for ECB resistance detected in the population D06 x D408 are consistent across other early maturing European maize germplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-917
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Insect resistance
  • Maize
  • Ostrinia nubilalis
  • QTL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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