, Volume 93, Issue 5-6, pp 849-858

Genetic dissection of height in maritime pine seedlings raised under accelerated growth conditions

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Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) were used to investigate quantitative trait loci (QTL) for traits related to height growth on 126 F2 seedlings of maritime pine (Pinuspinaster Ait). The haploid megagametophyte was used to determine the maternal genotype of each F2 individual. The seedlings were raised for 2 years in a greenhouse under accelerated growth conditions consisting of intense fertilization combined with continuous light treatments. Total height was measured at different developmental stages, and height growth components were measured after the second growth period. QTLs were identified for each trait. For total height, QTLs of different developmental stages were located on distinct linkage groups. However, rather than a complete temporal change in QTL expression, our results showed that maturation may induce a progressive shift of the genetic control of height growth. This may provide an explanation for a low juvenile-mature phenotypic correlation previously reported for height. Height growth components related to the initiation (controlled by the apical meristem) and elongation of shoot cycles (controlled by the subapical meristem) were mapped to different chromosomes, suggesting that the activity of these meristems is controlled by separate genetic mechanisms.

Communicated by G. Wenzel