, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 233-247
Date: 21 Sep 2007

Comparative genetics in sugarcane enables structured map enhancement and validation of marker-trait associations

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Abstract

As sugarcane is a complex polyaneuploid with many chromosomes, large numbers of markers are required to generate genetic maps with reasonable levels of genome coverage. Comparative mapping was investigated as an approach for both quantitative trait loci (QTL) validation and genetic map enhancement in sugarcane. More than 1000 SSR and AFLP markers were scored in a bi-parental Australian sugarcane population (Q3) that was segregating widely for sugar content-related traits. Two maps were constructed, one for each parent. The Q117 (female) and MQ77-340 (male) maps each contained almost 400 markers distributed onto approximately 100 linkage groups (LGs), of which nearly half could be assigned to homology groups (HGs) on the basis of SSRs. Then, using common SSR and AFLP markers, the two Q3 parental maps were aligned with the maps of the French cultivar, R570, and of the Australian cultivar, Q165A (A denotes variety covered by Australian plant breeding rights). As a result of comparative mapping, all ten HGs in the Q117 map, and all eleven HGs in the MQ77-340 map could be re-assigned to seven of the expected eight sugarcane HGs, revealing that one sugarcane HG was not covered at all in either Q3 parental map, and that other HGs were poorly represented. QTL analysis in the Q3 population identified approximately 75 marker-trait associations (MTAs) from approximately 18 chromosomal regions or putative QTL in each map for three sugar content-related traits. QTL location appeared to be consistent between the 4 maps; two of the eight HGs were observed to contain MTAs for brix in two or three maps, strongly suggesting the location of sugar content-related trait loci in these HGs.