Quantitative Trait loci (QTL) Identification for Resistance to Mal de Rio Cuarto Virus (MRCV) in Maize Based on Segregate Population

Ezequiel A. Rossi*, María L. Borghi, Miguel A. Di Renzo, Natalia C. Bonamico
Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Agencia nº3, 5800 Río Cuarto, Argentina.

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A. Rossi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Agencia nº3, 5800 Río Cuarto, Argentina; E-mail:


Mal de Río Cuarto virus (MRCV) is one of the most devastating pathogens in maize (Zea mays L.) causing serious yield loss in susceptible cultivars in Argentina. An effective solution to control the virus is to use resistant genes to improve the behavior of susceptible genotypes. The goals of this work are to identify simple sequence repeats (SSR) linked to quantitative trait loci (QTL), for resistance to MRCV, and to validate QTL found in previous research with different genetic backgrounds. Two hundred and eight F2:3 families derived from a cross between a susceptible inbred line, B73, and a resistant inbred line, LP116, were evaluated across three environments in the disease-endemic region. Disease incidence (INC), disease severity (SEV) and disease severity index (DSI) were employed to evaluate F2:3 families. Based on this segregant population, ninety-eight simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers selected from 173 markers were used. The means of all measured traits followed near-normal distribution; therefore these traits may be considered as quantitatively inherited characters. For INC, SEV and DSI all estimates showed a moderate heritability ranging from 0,33 to 0,72. Some quantitative trait loci (QTL), each explaining around 10% of phenotypic variance were found on chromosome 1, 6, 8 and 10. The identification of QTL conferring resistance to MRCV may contribute to breeding programs seeking to protect the crop through improved genetic resistance.

Keywords: Mal de Río Cuarto virus (MRCV), Quantitative trait loci (QTL), Segregant population, Zea mays L.