Quantitative trait loci analysis of morphological traits in Citrus
The objectives of this study were to understand the genetic basis of morphological variation observed in the genus Citrus and its relatives and to identify genomic regions associated with certain morphological traits using genetic linkage mapping and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis with random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. First, a genetic linkage map was constructed with RAPD markers obtained by screening 98 progeny plants from a chado.Citrus grandis × [C. paradisi × Poncirus trifoliata] × chado.[(C. paradisi × P. trifoliata) × C. reticulata] × [(C. paradisi × Poncirus trifoliata) × C. sinensis] intergeneric cross. The map contains 69 RAPD markers distributed into nine linkage groups. Then, 17 different morphological traits, including six tree and two leaf characters of 98 progeny plants and six floral and three fruit characters of about half of the same progeny plants were evaluated for 2 years and statistically analyzed for variation. Statistical analysis of individual traits indicated that trunk diameter and growth, tree height, canopy width, tree vigor and growth, leaf length and width, petal and anther numbers, petal length and width, length of pistil and style, fruit length and diameter, and fruit segment number showed normal or close to normal distribution, suggesting that these traits may be inherited quantitatively. Quantitative data from the morphological traits were analyzed to detect markers and putative QTLs associated with these traits using interval mapping method. QTL analysis revealed 18 putative QTLs of LOD > 3.0 associated with 13 of the morphological traits analyzed. The putative QTLs were distributed in several different linkage groups, and QTLs associated with similar traits were mostly mapped to the same LG or similar locations in the linkage group, indicating that the same genomic region is involved in the inheritance of some of the morphological traits.
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