Quantitative trait loci identified for sugar related traits in a sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) cultivar × Saccharum officinarum population
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- Aitken, K.S., Jackson, P.A. & McIntyre, C.L. Theor Appl Genet (2006) 112: 1306. doi:10.1007/s00122-006-0233-2
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The identification of markers linked to quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for increased sugar accumulation could improve the effectiveness of current breeding strategies in sugarcane. Progeny from a cross between a high sucrose producing cultivar, (denotes Australian plant breeding rights), and a Saccharum officinarum clone, IJ76-514 were grown in two field experiments in different years, and evaluated in the early and mid-season phases of crop maturity, to identify robust QTLs in affecting sucrose content in cane. Using an extensive genetic map constructed for with over 1,000 AFLP and SSR markers, a total of 37 QTLs were identified for brix and pol of which, 16 were detected in both experiments. Of these 37 QTL, 30 were clustered into 12 genomic regions in six of the eight homo(eo)logous groups. Each QTL explained from 3 to 9% of the phenotypic variation observed. Both positive and negative effects were identified and the location of the QTLs on linkage groups belonging to the same homo(eo)logy group suggested that a number of the QTLs were allelic forms of the same genes. Of the 37 QTLs identified, the majority were significant in both early and mature cane, but 8 were identified as early specific QTLs and 9 as mature cane QTLs. In total, 97 interactions were significant (P<10−5) and these were localised to 32 genomic regions of which 6 were detected with both years’ data. Models including all the QTLs explained from 37 to 66% of the total phenotypic variation, depending on the trait. The results will be subsequently applied in marker assisted breeding.