QTL mapping in multiple populations and development stages reveals dynamic quantitative trait loci for fruit size in cucumbers of different market classes
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QTL analysis in multi-development stages with different QTL models identified 12 consensus QTLs underlying fruit elongation and radial growth presenting a dynamic view of genetic control of cucumber fruit development.
Fruit size is an important quality trait in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) of different market classes. However, the genetic and molecular basis of fruit size variations in cucumber is not well understood. In this study, we conducted QTL mapping of fruit size in cucumber using F2, F2-derived F3 families and recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from a cross between two inbred lines Gy14 (North American picking cucumber) and 9930 (North China fresh market cucumber). Phenotypic data of fruit length and diameter were collected at three development stages (anthesis, immature and mature fruits) in six environments over 4 years. QTL analysis was performed with three QTL models including composite interval mapping (CIM), Bayesian interval mapping (BIM), and multiple QTL mapping (MQM). Twenty-nine consistent and distinct QTLs were detected for nine traits from multiple mapping populations and QTL models. Synthesis of information from available fruit size QTLs allowed establishment of 12 consensus QTLs underlying fruit elongation and radial growth, which presented a dynamic view of genetic control of cucumber fruit development. Results from this study highlighted the benefits of QTL analysis with multiple QTL models and different mapping populations in improving the power of QTL detection. Discussion was presented in the context of domestication and diversifying selection of fruit length and diameter, marker-assisted selection of fruit size, as well as identification of candidate genes for fruit size QTLs in cucumber.
KeywordsRecombinant Inbred Line Composite Interval Mapping Fruit Size Recombinant Inbred Line Population Fruit Length
The authors thank Linda Crubaugh and Kristin Haider for technical assistance. This research was supported by US–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) fund (Grant number IS-4341-10). Relevant work in Y. Weng’s lab was also partially supported by a US Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant (project number 2011-51181-30661).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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