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The Genetic Architecture of Disease Resistance in Maize: A Synthesis of Published Studies

February 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  2
Pages  120 - 129

Randall J. Wisser , Peter J. Balint-Kurti , and Rebecca J. Nelson

First author: Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Institute for Genomic Diversity, 160 Biotechnology Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; second author: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 3418 Gardner Hall, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695; and third author: Department of Plant Pathology, 321 Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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Accepted for publication 13 September 2005.

Fifty publications on the mapping of maize disease resistance loci were synthesized. These papers reported the locations of 437 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for disease (dQTL), 17 resistance genes (R-genes), and 25 R-gene analogs. A set of rules was devised to enable the placement of these loci on a single consensus map, permitting analysis of the distribution of resistance loci identified across a variety of maize germplasm for a number of different diseases. The confidence intervals of the dQTL were distributed over all 10 chromosomes and covered 89% of the genetic map to which the data were anchored. Visual inspection indicated the presence of clusters of dQTL for multiple diseases. Clustering of dQTL was supported by statistical tests that took into account genome-wide variations in gene density. Several novel clusters of resistance loci were identified. Evidence was also found for the association of dQTL with maturity-related QTL. It was evident from the distinct dQTL distributions for the different diseases that certain breeding schemes may be more suitable for certain diseases. This review provides an up-to-date synthesis of reports on the locations of resistance loci in maize.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2006