ZmWAK, a quantitative resistance gene to head smut in maize, improves yield performance by reducing the endophytic pathogen Sporisorium reiliana

Abstract

Head smut is a soil-borne systemic maize disease caused by the causal pathogen Sporisorium reiliana. ZmWAK is the gene within the major QTL qHSR1 conferring resistance to head smut disease. ZmWAK has been transferred by marker-assisted backcrossing into elite inbred lines with high-yield potential but susceptible to head smut. The converted inbred lines, together with their hybrids, were grown in 2012 and 2013 to investigate resistance performance, yield per plot, and yield-related traits. ZmWAK-mediated resistance to maize head smut follows a dominant genetic model, and a single ZmWAK allele could achieve high disease resistance to prevent yield loss from S. reiliana infection. Genetically, ZmWAK itself had no detectable negative impacts on yield-related traits. Instead, ZmWAK could indirectly improve most yield components, particularly ear-related traits, in symptomless plants by reducing the amount of endophytic S. reiliana. Overall, ZmWAK is beneficial to both head smut resistance and yield-related traits in maize.

DOI: 10.1007/s11032-015-0325-2

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@article{Konlasuk2015ZmWAKAQ, title={ZmWAK, a quantitative resistance gene to head smut in maize, improves yield performance by reducing the endophytic pathogen Sporisorium reiliana}, author={Suvimon Konlasuk and Yuexian Xing and Nan Zhang and Weiliang Zuo and Boqi Zhang and Guoqing Tan and Mingliang Xu}, journal={Molecular Breeding}, year={2015}, volume={35}, pages={1-10} }