, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 115-125
Date: 04 Jul 2007

Mapping QTL controlling fatty acid composition in a doubled haploid rapeseed population segregating for oil content

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Increasing oil content and improving the fatty acid composition in the seed oil are important breeding goals for rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). The objective of the study was to investigate a possible relationship between fatty acid composition and oil content in an oilseed rape doubled haploid (DH) population. The DH population was derived from a cross between the German cultivar Sollux and the Chinese cultivar Gaoyou, both having a high erucic acid and a very high oil content. In total, 282 DH lines were evaluated in replicated field experiments in four environments, two each in Germany and in China. Fatty acid composition of the seed oil was analyzed by gas liquid chromatography and oil content was determined by NIRS. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fatty acid contents were mapped and their additive main effects were determined by a mixed model approach using the program QTLMapper. For all fatty acids large and highly significant genetic variations among the genotypes were observed. High heritabilities were determined for oil content and for all fatty acids (h 2 = 0.82 to 0.94), except for stearic acid content (h 2= 0.38). Significant correlations were found between the contents of all individual fatty acids and oil content. Closest genetic correlations were found between oil content and the sum of polyunsaturated fatty acids (18:2 + 18:3; r = −0.46), the sum of monounsaturated fatty acids (18:1 + 20:1 + 22:1; r = 0.46) and palmitic acid (16:0; r = −0.34), respectively. Between one and eight QTL for the contents of the different fatty acids were detected. Together, their additive main effects explained between 28% and 65% of the genetic variance for the individual fatty acids. Ten QTL for fatty acid contents mapped within a distance of 0 to 10 cM to QTL for oil content, which were previously identified in this DH population. QTL mapped within this distance to each other are likely to be identical. The results indicate a close interrelationship between fatty acid composition and oil content, which should be considered when breeding for increased oil content or improved oil composition in rapeseed.