Maize streak virus (MSV) disease and maize downy mildew (DM) disease are major contributing factors to low maize yields in Africa. These two diseases threaten maize production in Mozambique, thus the importance of breeding Mozambican maize varieties that carry resistance to these diseases. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) was employed to pyramid MSV and DM disease resistant genes into a single genetic background through simultaneous selection. First, it was essential to determine the genetic diversity of MSV disease resistance in 25 elite maize inbred lines to aid in the selection of suitable lines for the introgression of the msv1 gene; and subsequently to introduce the msv1 resistance gene cluster from two inbred lines, CM505 and CML509, which were identified as the ideal parental lines for the introgression of MSV disease resistance into a locally adapted Mozambican inbred line LP23 that had DM background resistance. This research discusses the results of combined selection with both artificial inoculation and the three selected SSR markers. It was concluded that a conventional maize breeder can successfully use molecular markers to improve selection intensity and maximise genetic gain.
Mafu, N.F. Marker-Assisted Selection for Maize Streak Virus resistance and concomitant conventional selection for Downy Mildew resistance in a maize population. (2013) 177 pp. [MSc Thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal]