Mapping QTLs in breeding for drought tolerance in maize (Zea mays L.)

Hesham A.S. Agrama*, Mounir E. Moussa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Grain yield in the maize (Zea mays L) plant is sensitive to drought in the period three weeks either side of flowering. Maize is well-adapted to the use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) to identify a tight linkage between gene(s) controlling the quantitative trait and a molecular marker. We have determined the chromosomal locations of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting grain yield under drought, anthesis-silking interval, and number of ears per plant. The F3 families derived from the cross SD34(tolerant) x SD35(intolerant) were evaluated for these traits in a two replicated experiment. RFLP analysis of the maize genome included non- radioactive DNA-DNA hybridization detection using chemiluminescence. To identify QTLs underlying tolerance to drought, the mean phenotypic performances of F3 families were compared based on genotypic classification at each of 70 RFLP marker loci. The genetic linkage map assembled from these markers was in good agreement with previously published maps. The phenotypic correlations between yield and other traits were highly significant. In the combined analyses, genomic regions significantly affecting tolerance to drought were found on chromosomes 1,3,5,6, and 8. For yield, a total of 50% of the phenotypic variance could be explained by five putative QTLs. Different types of gene action were found for the putative QTLs for the three traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • QTL
  • RFLP
  • Zea mays
  • anthesis-silking interval
  • drought tolerance
  • grain yield
  • maize

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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