, Volume 112, Issue 5, pp 867-875
Date: 15 Dec 2005

Molecular analysis of the high stearic acid content in sunflower mutant CAS-14

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Increasing the stearic acid content to improve sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) oil quality is a desirable breeding objective for food-processing applications. CAS-14 is a sunflower mutant line with a high stearic acid content in its seed oil (>35% vs. <6% in currently grown sunflower hybrids), which is controlled by the Es3 gene. However, the expression of the high stearic acid character in CAS-14 is strongly influenced by temperature during seed maturation and it is not uniform along the seed. The objectives of this study were (1) to identify PCR-based molecular markers linked to the Es3 gene from CAS-14, (2) to map this gene on the sunflower genetic map, and (3) to characterize the interaction between CAS-14 and CAS-3, a sunflower high stearic acid (about 26%) mutant line with the Es1 and Es2 genes determining this trait. Two F2 mapping populations were developed from crosses between CAS-14 and P21, a nuclear male sterile line with the Ms11 gene controlling this character, and between CAS-14 and CAS-3. One hundred and thirty-three individuals from P21×CAS-14, and 164 individuals from CAS-3×CAS-14 were phenotyped in F2 and F3 seed generations for fatty acid composition using gas–liquid chromatography, and they were then genotyped with microsatellite [simple sequence repeat (SSR)] and insertion–deletion (INDEL) markers. Bulk segregant analysis in the P21×CAS-14 population identified two markers on LG 8 putatively linked to Es3. A large linkage group was identified using additional markers mapping to LG 8. Es3 mapped to the distal half of LG 8 and was flanked by the SSR markers ORS243 and ORS1161 at genetic distances of 0.5, and 3.9 cM, respectively. The Ms11 gene was also mapped to LG 8 and genetic distance between this gene and Es3 was found to be 7.4 cM. In the CAS-3×CAS-14 population, two QTLs were identified on LG 1 and LG 8, which underlie the Es1 gene from CAS-3 and the Es3 gene from CAS-14, respectively. A significant epistatic interaction between these two QTLs was found. Results from this study provided a basis for determining CAS-14 efficient breeding strategies.