Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 130, Issue 6, pp 1297–1308 | Cite as

QTL analysis of cotton fiber length in advanced backcross populations derived from a cross between Gossypium hirsutum and G. mustelinum

  • Baohua Wang
  • Xavier Draye
  • Zhimin Zhuang
  • Zhengsheng Zhang
  • Min Liu
  • Edward L. Lubbers
  • Don Jones
  • O. Lloyd May
  • Andrew H. Paterson
  • Peng W. Chee
Original Article


Key message

QTLs for fiber length mapped in three generations of advanced backcross populations derived from crossing Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium mustelinum showed opportunities to improve elite cottons by introgression from wild relatives.


The molecular basis of cotton fiber length in crosses between Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium mustelinum was dissected using 21 BC3F2 and 12 corresponding BC3F2:3 and BC3F2:4 families. Sixty-five quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected by one-way analysis of variance. The QTL numbers detected for upper-half mean length (UHM), fiber uniformity index (UI), and short fiber content (SFC) were 19, 20, and 26 respectively. Twenty-three of the 65 QTLs could be detected at least twice near adjacent markers in the same family or near the same markers across different families/generations, and 32 QTLs were detected in both one-way variance analyses and mixed model-based composite interval mapping. G. mustelinum alleles increased UHM and UI and decreased SFC for five, one, and one QTLs, respectively. In addition to the main-effect QTLs, 17 epistatic QTLs were detected which helped to elucidate the genetic basis of cotton fiber length. Significant among-family genotypic effects were detected at 18, 16, and 16 loci for UHM, UI, and SFC, respectively. Six, two, and two loci showed genotype × family interaction for UHM, UI and SFC, respectively, illustrating complexities that might be faced in introgression of exotic germplasm into cultivated cotton. Co-location of many QTLs for UHM, UI, and SFC accounted for correlations among these traits, and selection of these QTLs may improve the three traits simultaneously. The simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers associated with G. mustelinum QTLs will assist breeders in transferring and maintaining valuable traits from this exotic source during cultivar development.


Fiber Length Fiber Quality Upland Cotton Epistatic QTLs Fiber Quality Trait 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We appreciate financial help from the National Science Foundation (PFI award IIP 0917856; AIR award IIP 1127755), Cotton Incorporated, and Key Research and Development Project of Jiangsu Province, China (Modern Agriculture, BE2015353). We thank Jennifer McCurdy for help in field work and Cornelia Lemke for technical assistance in the lab.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

122_2017_2889_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (298 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 298 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Genome Mapping LaboratoryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesNantong UniversityNantongChina
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaTiftonUSA
  4. 4.Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  5. 5.Engineering Research Center of South Upland Agriculture, Ministry of EducationSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  6. 6.Cotton IncorporatedCaryUSA
  7. 7.Monsanto Cotton BreedingTiftonUSA

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