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Open Access Research article

QTL mapping for Mediterranean corn borer resistance in European flint germplasm using recombinant inbred lines

Bernardo Ordas*, Rosa A Malvar, Rogelio Santiago and Ana Butron

Author Affiliations

Misión Biológica de Galicia, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Apartado 28, 36080 Pontevedra, Spain

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:174  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-174

Published: 15 March 2010



Ostrinia nubilalis (ECB) and Sesamia nonagrioides (MCB) are two maize stem borers which cause important losses in temperate maize production, but QTL analyses for corn borer resistance were mostly restricted to ECB resistance and maize materials genetically related (mapping populations derived from B73). Therefore, the objective of this work was to identify and characterize QTLs for MCB resistance and agronomic traits in a RILs population derived from European flint inbreds.


Three QTLs were detected for stalk tunnel length at bins 1.02, 3.05 and 8.05 which explained 7.5% of the RILs genotypic variance. The QTL at bin 3.05 was co-located to a QTL related to plant height and grain humidity and the QTL at bin 8.05 was located near a QTL related to yield.


Our results, when compared with results from other authors, suggest the presence of genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis or fortification with effects on resistance to different corn borer species and digestibility for dairy cattle. Particularly, we proposed five candidate genes related to cell wall characteristics which could explain the QTL for stalk tunnelling in the region 3.05. However, the small proportion of genotypic variance explained by the QTLs suggest that there are also many other genes of small effect regulating MCB resistance and we conclude that MAS seems not promising for this trait. Two QTLs detected for stalk tunnelling overlap with QTLs for agronomic traits, indicating the presence of pleitropism or linkage between genes affecting resistance and agronomic traits.