, 215:88 | Cite as

Genetic variation and QTL mapping for cold tolerance in a chrysanthemum F1 population at different growth stages

  • Ni Ao
  • Jie Ma
  • Tingting Xu
  • Jiangshuo Su
  • Xincheng Yang
  • Zhiyong Guan
  • Weimin Fang
  • Fadi Chen
  • Fei ZhangEmail author


Low temperature is a major stress factor that has adverse effects on chrysanthemum production; however, there is little information regarding the genetic mechanism of cold tolerance. Based on a previously constructed F1 mapping population, genetic variations and QTL effects were investigated for cold tolerance at the vegetative, bud, flower, and rhizome stages. The results showed that the coefficient of variation for cold tolerance at the four growth stages ranged from 22.17 to 46.14%, and heterosis and transgressive segregation were observed in both directions. Mixed inheritance model analysis revealed that cold tolerance at the vegetative and flower stages was controlled by two pairs of major genes that exhibited additivity-dominance-epistasis effects, and the heritabilities of the major genes were 88.56% and 65.86%, whereas no major gene model was identified for cold tolerance at the bud and rhizome stages. A total of 15 cold-tolerance-associated QTLs that explained 6.47–68.89% of the phenotypic variation were detected across the four stages, four of which were synergistic QTLs. Most of the identified QTLs were expressed at 2–4 growth stages, but only one QTL was identified at all four stages. This finding indicated that the QTLs underlying cold tolerance were dependent on the environment and were selectively expressed at different stages. In addition, for cold tolerance at the bud and flower stages, the QTLs qBdsCTM33 and qFfsCTM33 on the M33 linkage group accounted for 65.78% and 68.89% of the phenotypic variation, respectively, but had corresponding negative additive effects of − 5.16 and − 4.57 °C, indicating that these QTLs are major contributors to the improvement of cold tolerance. The findings of the present study reveal the genetic architecture of cold tolerance at different developmental stages, and the major QTLs and linked molecular markers identified represent an important step toward molecular-marker-assisted selection and QTL pyramiding for future breeding of cold-tolerant chrysanthemum.


Chrysanthemum Cold tolerance Genetic variation Molecular marker QTL mapping 



We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions that significantly improved the presentation of this manuscript. The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572152), the Earmarked Fund for Jiangsu Agricultural Industry Technology System (JATS[2018]281), and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151429).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ni Ao
    • 1
  • Jie Ma
    • 1
  • Tingting Xu
    • 1
  • Jiangshuo Su
    • 1
  • Xincheng Yang
    • 1
  • Zhiyong Guan
    • 1
  • Weimin Fang
    • 1
  • Fadi Chen
    • 1
  • Fei Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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