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|Scooped by Biswapriya Biswavas Misra|
The rubber tree (Hevea spp.), cultivated in equatorial and tropical countries, is the primary plant used in natural rubber production. Due to genetic and physiological constraints, inbred lines of this species are not available. Therefore, alternative approaches are required for the characterization of this species, such as the genetic mapping of full-sib crosses derived from outbred parents. In the present study, an integrated genetic map was obtained for a full-sib cross family with simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and expressed sequence tag (EST-SSR) markers, which can display different segregation patterns. To study the genetic architecture of the traits related to growth in two different conditions (winter and summer), quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was also performed using the integrated map. Traits evaluated were height and girth growth, and the statistical model was based in an extension of composite interval mapping. The obtained molecular genetic map has 284 markers distributed among 23 linkage groups with a total length of 2688.8 cM. A total of 18 QTLs for growth traits during the summer and winter seasons were detected. A comparison between the different seasons was also conducted. For height, QTLs detected during the summer season were different from the ones detected during winter season. This type of difference was also observed for girth. Integrated maps are important for genetics studies in outbred species because they represent more accurately the polymorphisms observed in the genitors. QTL mapping revealed several interesting findings, such as a dominance effect and unique segregation patterns that each QTL could exhibit, which were independent of the flanking markers. The QTLs identified in this study, especially those related to phenotypic variation associated with winter could help studies of marker-assisted selection that are particularly important when the objective of a breeding program is to obtain phenotypes that are adapted to sub-optimal regions.