Association of gene-linked SSR markers to seed glucosinolate content in oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. napus)
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- Hasan, M., Friedt, W., Pons-Kühnemann, J. et al. Theor Appl Genet (2008) 116: 1035. doi:10.1007/s00122-008-0733-3
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Breeding of oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. napus) has evoked a strong bottleneck selection towards double-low (00) seed quality with zero erucic acid and low seed glucosinolate content. The resulting reduction of genetic variability in elite 00-quality oilseed rape is particularly relevant with regard to the development of genetically diverse heterotic pools for hybrid breeding. In contrast, B. napus genotypes containing high levels of erucic acid and seed glucosinolates (++ quality) represent a comparatively genetically divergent source of germplasm. Seed glucosinolate content is a complex quantitative trait, however, meaning that the introgression of novel germplasm from this gene pool requires recurrent backcrossing to avoid linkage drag for high glucosinolate content. Molecular markers for key low-glucosinolate alleles could potentially improve the selection process. The aim of this study was to identify potentially gene-linked markers for important seed glucosinolate loci via structure-based allele-trait association studies in genetically diverse B. napus genotypes. The analyses included a set of new simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers whose orthologs in Arabidopsis thaliana are physically closely linked to promising candidate genes for glucosinolate biosynthesis. We found evidence that four genes involved in the biosynthesis of indole, aliphatic and aromatic glucosinolates might be associated with known quantitative trait loci for total seed glucosinolate content in B. napus. Markers linked to homoeologous loci of these genes in the paleopolyploid B. napus genome were found to be associated with a significant effect on the seed glucosinolate content. This example shows the potential of Arabidopsis-Brassica comparative genome analysis for synteny-based identification of gene-linked SSR markers that can potentially be used in marker-assisted selection for an important trait in oilseed rape.