Heterogeneous inbred family (HIF) analysis: a method for developing near-isogenic lines that differ at quantitative trait loci
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Analysis of near-isogenic lines (NILs) that differ at quantitative trait loci (QTL) can be an effective approach for the detailed mapping and characterization of individual loci. Although NILs are useful for genetic and physiological studies, the time and effort required to develop these lines have limited their use. Here we describe a procedure to identify NILs for any region of the genome that can be analyzed with molecular or other genetic markers. The procedure utilizes molecular markers to identify heterogeneous inbred families (HIFs) that segregate for a genomic region of interest. Each HIF is isogenic at the majority of loci in the genome, but NILs differing for markers linked to QTL of interest can be extracted from segregating families. The application of this procedure is described for two QTL associated with seed weight in sorghum. A population of 98 HIFs was screened with two RAPD markers from different linkage groups that were associated with seed weight. Three segregating families were identified for each marker. The progeny of these HIFs were characterized for the segregation of seed weight and other yield components and for markers flanking each QTL. NILs derived from each HIF had significantly different seed weights confirming the presence of at least two loci that influence seed weight in sorghum.
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