Title: Development of a gene-based marker correlated to reduced aflatoxin accumulation in maize
Authors: Mylroie JE, Warburton ML, Wilkinson JR
Accepted date: 2013 Jun 22
Interpretive summary: Aflatoxins are carcinogenic and toxic metabolites produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus during infection of corn and other seed oil crops. One of the most promising avenues to combat aflatoxin contamination is the development of corn with genetic resistance. Finding regions of the chromosome that contribute to resistance and then selecting directly at the level of the DNA, rather than evaluating plants for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation in field tests, may speed breeding progress for this trait. Genetic mapping may identify very large regions of the chromosome in which a gene for resistance is located, but other unwanted genes may also be found in the region if it is too large. Finding the sequence of only the gene of interest, and using it to develop easy to screen markers, should avoid that problem. In this study, one marker identified in a candidate gene for aflatoxin resistance was found to map to chromosome 4, and plants carrying the marker were found to be significantly more resistant to aflatoxin contamination than those plants not carrying the marker. Selection based on this molecular marker should accelerate development of corn hybrids with resistance to aflatoxin contamination.
Publication date: 2013