QTL analysis of leaf morphology in tetraploid Gossypium (cotton)
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Molecular markers were used to map and characterize quantitative trait loci (QTLs) determining cotton leaf morphology and other traits, in 180 F2 plants from an interspecific cross between a Gossypium hirsutum genotype carrying four morphological mutants, and a wild-type Gossypium barbadense. The prominent effects of a single region of chromosome 15, presumably the classical ”Okra-leaf” locus, were modified by QTLs on several other chromosomes affecting leaf size and shape. For most traits, each parent contained some alleles with positive effects and others with negative effects, suggesting a large potential for adapting leaf size and shape to the needs of particular production regimes. Twenty one QTLs/loci were found for the morphological traits at LOD≥3.0 and P≤0.001, among which 14 (63.6%) mapped to D-subgenome chromosomes. Forty one more possible QTLs/loci were suggested with 2.0≤LOD<3.0 and 0.001<P≤0.01. Among all of the 62 possible QTLs (found at LOD≥2.0 and P≤0.01) for the 14 morphological traits in this study, 38 (61.3%) mapped to D-subgenome chromosomes. This reinforces the findings of several other studies in suggesting that the D-subgenome of tetraploid cotton has been subject to a relatively greater rate of evolution than the A-subgenome, subsequent to polyploid formation.
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