Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2018, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (4): 487-501.DOI: 10.11983/CBB17082

• EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis of Meta-quantitative Trait Loci and Their Candidate Genes Related to Leaf Shape in Maize

Guo Shulei1,2, Zhang Jun1, Qi Jianshuang1, Yue Runqing1, Han Xiaohua1, Yan Shufeng1, Lu Caixia1, Fu Xiaolei1, Chen Nana1, Ku Lixia2,*(), Tie Shuanggui1,*()   

  1. 1Henan Provincial Key Lab of Maize Biology, Cereal Crops Institute, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    2Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Grain Crops, College of Agronomy, Henan Agriculture University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
  • Received:2017-04-13 Accepted:2017-10-25 Online:2018-07-01 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Ku Lixia,Tie Shuanggui
  • About author:† These authors contributed equally to this paper


Leaf length, width, area, and angle are important components of plant architecture but also affect the efficiency of photosynthesis in maize. In this study, 620 quantitative trait loci (QTL) were used to construct an integrated map related to maize leaf shape; 22 maize QTL (mQTL) for leaf length, 22 for leaf width, 12 for leaf area and 17 for leaf angle were estimated by meta-analysis. Further bioinformatics analysis identified 44 candidate genes closely related to leaf shape within the mQTL region, with some unintegrated QTL. However, only 13 candidate genes, including NAL7-like, YABBY6-like, and GRF2, were located in the mQTL region. Most of the candidate genes, such as the cloned genes KNOTTED1, AN3/GIF1, rgd1/lbl1 and mwp1 in maize and SRL2-like, HYL1-like, and CYCB2;4-like in rice and Arabidopsis thaliana homologous genes were projected onto the interval of unintegrated QTL. The regulation mechanism of 44 candidate genes is summarized and analyzed in the development of leaf length, width and thickness, by proximal-distal, central-marginal and adaxial-abaxial. Only a few known genes revealed part of the molecular mechanism of leaf deve- lopment in maize. Further research of the mQTL/QTL and related genes will create a global view of the genetic architecture of maize leaf shape, provide useful biological information for fine mapping QTL, and identify more candidate genes to clarify the molecular mechanism of leaf morphogenesis and provide a theoretical base for ideal plant-architecture improvement of maize marker-assisted breeding.

Key words: maize (Zea mays), leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, leaf angle, meta-analysis, meta-QTL, candidate gene