, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 404-410
Date: 20 Aug 2010

Inheritance of Flowering Time in Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) and Analysis of Linked Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) using Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) Markers

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Time of flowering was studied during 3 years in a BC1 apricot progeny of 73 seedlings derived from a cross between the F1 selection “Z506-07” (“Orange Red” × “Currot”) and the Spanish cultivar “Currot”. Results indicated a quantitative inheritance of flowering time in apricot with an influence of juvenility and environmental conditions (chill accumulation) on the evaluation and expression of this trait. Genetic maps consisting of 11 linkage groups for both parents representing the eight chromosomes of apricot were developed using 46 apricot and peach simple sequence repeat (SSR-microsatellites) markers and were used for the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL). QTL analysis for flowering time allowed the identification of one significant QTL on the linkage group 5 (G5) of “Z506-07”, and explaining most of the phenotypic variation. Two microsatellite loci (UDAp-423r and AMPA-105) were found to be tightly linked to this important agronomic trait. Finally, we discuss the stability of the QTL described during the 3 years of the study and the development of efficient marker-assisted selection strategies applied to apricot and other Prunus breeding programs.