Genetic architecture of aerial and root traits in field-grown grafted grapevines is largely independent
QTLs were identified for traits assessed on field-grown grafted grapevines. Root number and section had the largest phenotypic variance explained. Genetic control of root and aerial traits was independent.
Breeding new rootstocks for perennial crops remains challenging, mainly because of the number of desirable traits which have to be combined, these traits include good rooting ability and root development. Consequently, the present study analyzes the genetic architecture of root traits in grapevine. A segregating progeny of 138 F1 genotypes issued from an inter-specific cross between Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon × V. riparia cv. Gloire de Montpellier, used as rootstock, was phenotyped in grafted plants grown for 2 years in the field. Seven traits, related to aerial and root development, were quantified. Heritability ranged between 0.44 for aerial biomass to 0.7 for root number. Total root number was related to the number of fine roots, while root biomass was related to the number of coarse roots. Significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for all the traits studied with some of them explaining approximately 20% of phenotypic variance. Only a single QTL co-localized for root and aerial biomass. Identified QTLs for aerial-to-root biomass ratio suggest that aerial and root traits are controlled independently. Genes known to be involved in auxin signaling pathways and phosphorus nutrition, whose orthologues were previously shown to regulate root development in Arabidopsis, were located in the confidence intervals of several QTLs. This study opens new perspectives for breeding rootstocks with improved root development capacities.
We would like to acknowledge the excellent assistance of Louis Bordenave, Bernard Douens, Cyril Hévin, Jean-Pierre Petit and Jean-Paul Robert for the plant material grafting. We are also grateful to Pr. Gregory A. Gambetta and Dr. Philippe Vivin for critical reading and improvement of the manuscript.
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.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
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