, Volume 90, Issue 7-8, pp 933-947

Genetic mapping of QTLs controlling vegetative propagation in Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla using a pseudo-testcross strategy and RAPD markers

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Abstract

We have extended the combined use of the “pseudo-testcross” mapping strategy and RAPD markers to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling traits related to vegetative propagation in Eucalyptus. QTL analyses were performed using two different interval mapping approaches, MAPMAKER-QTL (maximum likelihood) and QTL-STAT (non-linear least squares). A total of ten QTLs were detected for micropropagation response (measured as fresh weight of shoots, FWS), six for stump sprouting ability (measured as # stump sprout cuttings, #Cutt) and four for rooting ability (measured as % rooting of cuttings, %Root). With the exception of three QTLs, both interval-mapping methods yielded similar results in terms of QTL detection. Discrepancies in the most likely QTL location were observed between the two methods. In 75% of the cases the most likely position was in the same, or in an adjacent, interval. Standardized gene substitution effects for the QTLs detected were typically between 0.46 and 2.1 phenotypic standard deviations (σp), while differences between the family mean and the favorable QTL genotype were between 0.25 and 1.07 (σp). Multipoint estimates of the total genetic variation explained by the QTLs (89.0% for FWS, 67.1 % for#Cutt, 62.7% for %Root) indicate that a large proportion of the variation in these traits is controlled by a relatively small number of major-effect QTLs. In this cross, E. grandis is responsible for most of the inherited variation in the ability to form shoots, while E. urophylla contributes most of the ability in rooting. QTL mapping in the pseudo-testcross configuration relies on withinfamily linkage disequilibrium to establish marker/trait associations. With this approach QTL analysis is possible in any available full-sib family generated from undomesticated and highly heterozygous organisms such as forest trees. QTL mapping on two-generation pedigrees opens the possibility of using already existing families in retrospective QTL analyses to gather the quantitative data necessary for marker-assisted tree breeding.

Communicate by P.M.A.Tigerstedt