, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 215-226

Analyses of quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to shape Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in sunflowers (shape Helianthus annuus L.) using molecular markers

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Restriction fragment length polymorphism and isoenzyme markers were used to investigate quantitative trait loci involved in sunflower resistance to mycelial extension of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on leaves and capitula. Seed weight, oil content and flowering data were also evaluated. Four quantitative trait loci were demonstrated for leaf resistance and two for capitulum resistance. One of these zones appears involved in resistance to both types of S. sclerotiorum attack while the others appear specific for resistance of one part of the plant. Two quantitative trait loci were detected for seed weight, three for oil content and three for flowering date. Individual quantitative trait loci explained 9% to 48% of the phenotypic variability, confirming the polygenic basis of the quantitative traits studied. Overall, the quantitative trait loci explain 60% of the genetic variation for leaf resistance and 38% for capitulum resistance to S. sclerotiorum. One linkage group is particularly interesting since it includes quantitative trait loci for all the five quantitative traits measured. Hypotheses for linkage versus pleiotropy and consequences of all the results in resistance breeding are discussed.