Association analysis of drought tolerance in cut chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) at seedling stage
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.
KeywordsAssociation 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.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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