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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 2, p. 358-364
    Received: Mar 1, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): smkaeppl@facstaff.wisc.edu
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Variation among Maize Inbred Lines and Detection of Quantitative Trait Loci for Growth at Low Phosphorus and Responsiveness to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

  1. Shawn M. Kaeppler *a,
  2. Jennifer L. Parkeb,
  3. Suzanne M. Muellera,
  4. Lynn Seniorc,
  5. Charles Stuberd and
  6. William F. Tracya
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706 USA
    b Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA
    c Novartis Seeds, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
    d Dep. of Genetics, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7614 USA


Maize (Zea mays L.) growth at low soil P levels is affected both by inherent physiological factors as well as interactions with soil microbes. The objectives of this study were (i) to quantify differences among maize inbred lines for growth at low P and response to mycorrhizal fungi, and (ii) to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling these traits in a B73 × Mo17 recombinant inbred population. Shoot dry weight and root volume were measured in the greenhouse after 6 wk of growth in a factorial experiment of 28 inbred maize lines using treatments of low vs. high P and mycorrhizal vs. nonmycorrhizal treatments. Shoot dry weight for the low P treatment in the absence of mycorrhizae ranged from 0.56 to 3.15 g. Mycorrhizal responsiveness based on shoot dry weight ranged from 106 to 800%. Shoot dry weight in the low P–nonmycorrhizal treatment was highly negatively correlated with mycorrhizal responsiveness. Plants grown at high P in the presence of mycorrhizae accumulated only 88% of the biomass of plants grown at high P in the absence of mycorrhizae, indicating that mycorrhizae can reduce plant growth when not contributing to the symbiosis. Percentage of root colonization was not correlated with mycorrhizal responsiveness. B73 and Mo17 were among the extremes for growth at low P and mycorrhizal responsiveness, and a B73 × Mo17 population of 197 recombinant inbred lines was used to detect QTL for growth at low P and mycorrhizal responsiveness. Three QTL were identified which controlled growth at low P in the absence of mycorrhizae based on shoot weight and one QTL which controlled mycorrhizal responsiveness. This study indicates that there is substantial variation among maize lines for growth at low P and response to mycorrhizal fungi. This variation could be harnessed to develop cultivars for regions of the world with P deficiency and for reduced-input production systems.

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