Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) of maize involved in mediating resistance to Peronosclerospora sorghi, the causative agent of sorghum downy mildew (SDM), were detected in a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the Zea mays L. cross between resistant (G62) and susceptible (G58) inbred lines. Field tests of 94 RILs were conducted over two growing seasons using artificial inoculation. Heritability of the disease reaction was high (around 70%). The mapping population of the RILs was also scored for restriction fragment length polymorphic (RFLP) markers. One hundred and six polymorphic RFLP markers were assigned to ten chromosomes covering 1648 cM. Three QTLs were detected that significantly affected resistance to SDM combined across seasons. Two of these mapped quite close together on chromosome 1, while the third one was on chromosome 9. The percentage of phenotypic variance explained by each QTL ranged from 12.4% to 23.8%. Collectively, the three QTLs identified in this study explained 53.6% of the phenotypic variation in susceptibility to the infection. The three resistant QTLs appeared to have additive effects. Increased susceptibility was contributed by the alleles of the susceptible parent. The detection of more than one QTL supports the hypothesis that several qualitative and quantitative genes control resistance to P. sorghi.
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