Gray leaf spot is a maize foliar disease with worldwide distribution and can drastically reduce the production in susceptible genotypes. Published works indicate that resistance to gray leaf spot is a complex trait controlled by multiple genes, with additive effect and influenced by environment. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions, including putative genes, associated with resistance to gray leaf spot under natural conditions of disease occurrence. A genome wide association study was conducted with 355,972 single nucleotide polymorphism markers on a phenotypic data composed by 157 tropical maize inbred lines, evaluated at Maringá –Brazil. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were significantly associated with gray leaf spot, some of which were localized to previously reported quantitative trait loci regions. Three gene models linked to the associated single nucleotide polymorphism were expressed at flowering time and tissue related with gray leaf spot infection, explaining a considerable proportion of the phenotypic variance, ranging from 0.34 to 0.38. The gene model GRMZM2G073465 (bin 10.07) encodes a cysteine protease3 protein, gene model GRMZM2G007188 (bin 1.02) expresses a rybosylation factor-like protein and the gene model GRMZM2G476902 (bin 4.08) encodes an armadillo repeat protein. These three proteins are related with plant defense pathway. Once these genes are validated in next studies, they will be useful for marker–assisted selection and can help improve the understanding of maize resistance to gray leaf spot.
Kuki, M. C., Scapim, C. A., Rossi, E. S., Mangolin, C. A., Do Amaral, A. T., & Barth Pinto, R. J. (2018). Genome wide association study for gray leaf spot resistance in tropical maize core. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199539