Cornell University

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"How little I understand about breeding and genetics of Fusarium ear rot resistance in maize" - Jim Holland

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 12:40pm

Virtual Event

Jim Holland

Some self-pollinated species have abundant alleles for disease immunity and large-effect QTL; gene mapping, cloning and marker-assisted selection are effective for deploying resistance genes in these species. In contrast, maize has relatively few genes conferring immunity to disease, a few QTL with moderate effects, and a plethora of small-effect polygenic variants for resistance; so marker-assisted selection is of limited value. With considerable effort, some maize quantitative disease resistance QTL have been cloned, and some of these influence pathways distinct from the hypersensitive response underlying immunity resistance. Breeding methods for disease resistance in maize have been more successful when optimized for quantitative traits. This is particularly true of Fusarium ear rot resistance, for which no major resistance genes or immunity is known. Improving heritability of ear rot resistance by uniform inoculation methods applied to large populations in multiple environment trials is a valuable use of resources. Leveraging extensive phenotypic evaluations of genomic selection training sets may pay off in the future, but genotyping is still too expensive for small-scale breeding programs to implement widely.

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Plant Breeding and Genetics


pbg, sips




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Catalina L. Enright

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Jim Holland

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