QTL mapping for fruit quality in Citrus using DArTseq markers
Citrus breeding programs have many limitations associated with the species biology and physiology, requiring the incorporation of new biotechnological tools to provide new breeding possibilities. Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers, combined with next-generation sequencing, have wide applicability in the construction of high-resolution genetic maps and in quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. This study aimed to construct an integrated genetic map using full-sib progeny derived from Murcott tangor and Pera sweet orange and DArTseq™ molecular markers and to perform QTL mapping of twelve fruit quality traits. A controlled Murcott x Pera crossing was conducted at the Citrus Germplasm Repository at the Sylvio Moreira Citrus Centre of the Agronomic Institute (IAC) located in Cordeirópolis, SP, in 1997. In 2012, 278 F1 individuals out of a family of 312 confirmed hybrid individuals were analyzed for fruit traits and genotyped using the DArTseq markers. Using OneMap software to obtain the integrated genetic map, we considered only the DArT loci that showed no segregation deviation. The likelihood ratio and the genomic information from the available Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck genome were used to determine the linkage groups (LGs). Results The resulting integrated map contained 661 markers in 13 LGs, with a genomic coverage of 2,774 cM and a mean density of 0.23 markers/cM. The groups were assigned to the nine Citrus haploid chromosomes; however, some of the chromosomes were represented by two LGs due the lack of information for a single integration, as in cases where markers segregated in a 3:1 fashion. A total of 19 QTLs were identified through composite interval mapping (CIM) of the 12 analyzed fruit characteristics: fruit diameter (cm), height (cm), height/diameter ratio, weight (g), rind thickness (cm), segments per fruit, total soluble solids (TSS, %), total titratable acidity (TTA, %), juice content (%), number of seeds, TSS/TTA ratio and number of fruits per box. The genomic sequence (pseudochromosomes) of C. sinensis was compared to the genetic map, and synteny was clearly identified. Further analysis of the map regions with the highest LOD scores enabled the identification of putative genes that could be associated with the fruit quality characteristics. Conclusion An integrated linkage map of Murcott tangor and Pera sweet orange using DArTseq™ molecular markers was established and it was useful to perform QTL mapping of twelve fruit quality traits. The next generation sequences data allowed the comparison between the linkage map and the genomic sequence (pseudochromosomes) of C. sinensis and the identification of genes that may be responsible for phenotypic traits in Citrus. The obtained linkage map was used to assign sequences that had not been previously assigned to a position in the reference genome.
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