3 Biotech

, 8:226 | Cite as

Association analysis of drought tolerance in cut chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) at seedling stage

  • Pirui Li
  • Jiangshuo Su
  • Zhiyong Guan
  • Weimin Fang
  • Fadi Chen
  • Fei ZhangEmail author
Original Article


Understanding the genetic architecture is a prerequisite for crop improvement. The current research aimed to characterize the extent of genetic variation of drought tolerance harbored in a global collection of 159 chrysanthemum cultivars over 2 years. An average subordinate function value (ASFV), integrating the wilting index, the fresh weight retention rate, and the survival rate after re-watering under two drought-stressed trials, was used to quantify the level of drought tolerance. The performance of ASFV was generally correlated between the 2 years; and a high magnitude (0.95) of broad-sense heritability, coupled with the moderate genetic advance, was estimated for the ASFV. By applying MLM model with both population structure and kinship matrix as covariates association mapping identified 16 markers linked to drought tolerance, with the proportion of the phenotypic variation explained by an individual marker ranging from 4.4 to 7.6%. Of the eight markers predictive across the 2 years, four (E11M24-9, E3M2-8, E1M5-5, and EST-SSR34-3) were identified as favorable alleles for drought tolerance. Several cultivars that carry at least three of the four favorable alleles were identified as potential donor parents for future improvement of the drought tolerance. The findings provide an insight into the genetic basis of the drought tolerance in chrysanthemum and will, therefore, aid in developing new cultivars with enhanced tolerance against drought stress.


Association mapping Chrysanthemum Drought tolerance Favorable allele Genetic architecture 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 31572152, 31370699 and 31272196).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

13205_2018_1258_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (578 kb)
Fig. S1 Five wilting index (WI) scales of phenotypic variation in the response of chrysanthemum rooted cuttings exposed to drought stress (JPG 578 KB)
13205_2018_1258_MOESM2_ESM.docx (40 kb)
Table S1 The panel of 159 chrysanthemum accessions, showing provenance, ASFV and grade of drought tolerance (DOCX 39 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pirui Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiangshuo Su
    • 1
  • Zhiyong Guan
    • 1
  • Weimin Fang
    • 1
  • Fadi Chen
    • 1
  • Fei Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Landscape Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyJiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina

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