, Volume 118, Issue 8, pp 1439-1454
Date: 10 Mar 2009

Identification of quantitative trait loci for agronomically important traits and their association with genic-microsatellite markers in sorghum

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The identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting agronomically important traits enable to understand their underlying genetic mechanisms and genetic basis of their complex interactions. The aim of the present study was to detect QTLs for 12 agronomic traits related to staygreen, plant early development, grain yield and its components, and some growth characters by analyzing replicated phenotypic datasets from three crop seasons, using the population of 168 F7 RILs of the cross 296B × IS18551. In addition, we report mapping of a subset of genic-microsatellite markers. A linkage map was constructed with 152 marker loci comprising 149 microsatellites (100 genomic- and 49 genic-microsatellites) and three morphological markers. QTL analysis was performed by using MQM approach. Forty-nine QTLs were detected, across environments or in individual environments, with 1–9 QTLs for each trait. Individual QTL accounted for 5.2–50.4% of phenotypic variance. Several genomic regions affected multiple traits, suggesting the phenomenon of pleiotropy or tight linkage. Stable QTLs were identified for studied traits across different environments, and genetic backgrounds by comparing the QTLs in the study with previously reported QTLs in sorghum. Of the 49 mapped genic-markers, 18 were detected associating either closely or exactly as the QTL positions of agronomic traits. EST marker Dsenhsbm19, coding for a key regulator (EIL-1) of ethylene biosynthesis, was identified co-located with the QTLs for plant early development and staygreen trait, a probable candidate gene for these traits. Similarly, such exact co-locations between EST markers and QTLs were observed in four other instances. Collectively, the QTLs/markers identified in the study are likely candidates for improving the sorghum performance through MAS and map-based gene isolations.

Communicated by X. Xia.