First author: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Cereal Disease Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108; and second and third authors: USDA-ARS, Plant Science Research Unit, Raleigh, NC 27695
A random set of recombinant inbred (RI) lines (F2:7) derived from the cross of the inbred lines Mo17 (resistant) and B73 (susceptible) were evaluated for resistance to southern leaf blight (SLB) caused by Cochliobolus heterostrophus race O. The RI lines were genotyped at a total of 234 simple sequence repeat, restriction fragment length polymorphism, or isozyme loci. Field plots of the RI lines were inoculated artificially with an aggressive isolate of C. heterostrophus race O in each of two growing seasons in North Carolina. Lines were rated for percent SLB severity two (1996) or three (1995) times during the grain-filling period. Data also were converted to area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) and analyzed using the composite interval mapping option of the PLABQTL program. When means of disease ratings over years were fitted to models, a total of 11 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were found to condition resistance to SLB, depending upon which disease ratings were used in the analyses. When the AUDPC data were combined and analyzed over environments, seven QTLs, on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 10 were found to come from the resistant parent Mo17. An additional QTL for resistance on chromosome 1 came from the susceptible parent B73. The eight identified QTLs accounted for 46% of the phenotypic variation for resistance. QTL × environment interactions often were highly significant but, with one exception, were the result of differences in the magnitude of QTL effects between years and not due to changes in direction of effects. QTLs on the long arm of chromosome 1 and chromosomes 2 and 3 had the largest effects, were the most consistently detected, and accounted for most of the phenotypic variance. No significant additive × additive epistatic effects were detected. These data support earlier reports of the polygenic inheritance of resistance to SLB of maize.