Characterization of the main effects, epistatic effects and their environmental interactions of QTLs on the genetic basis of yield traits in rice
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Main effects, epistatic effects and their environmental interactions of QTLs are all important genetic components of quantitative traits. In this study, we analyzed the main effects, epistatic effects of the QTLs, and QTL by environment interactions (QEs) underlying four yield traits, using a population of 240 recombinant inbred lines from a cross between two rice varieties tested in replicated field trials. A genetic linkage map with 220 DNA marker loci was constructed. A mixed linear model approach was used to detect QTLs with main effects, QTLs involved in digenic interactions and QEs. In total, 29 QTLs of main effects, and 35 digenic interactions involving 58 loci were detected for the four traits. Thirteen QTLs with main effects showed QEs; no QE was detected for the QTLs involved in epistatic interactions. The amount of variations explained by the QTLs of main effect were larger than the QTLs involved in epistatic interactions, which in turn were larger than QEs for all four traits. This study illustrates the ability of the analysis to assess the genetic components underlying the quantitative traits, and demonstrates the relative importance of the various components as the genetic basis of yield traits in this population.
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