fs8.1, a major QTL, sets the pattern of tomato carpel shape well before anthesis
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fs8.1 is a major fruit-shape QTL differentiating fresh-market and processing tomatoes. Mature fruits from plants with the wild-type fresh-market alleles are round, whereas those with alleles from processing variety E6203 are elongated (sometimes referred to as blocky or square tomatoes). Fine mapping was undertaken to determine whether the effect is due to a single gene or several tightly linked genes. RAPD and RFLP linkage analysis, and substitution mapping of nearly isogenic lines (NILs) segregating for the 22.8 cM-TG176-CT92 interval at the top of chromosome 8 in tomato were used for high-resolution mapping. For the 1212 gametes screened in F2 and F3 families, it was determined that fs8.1 maps as a single locus near the centromere of chromosome 8. A comparative developmental study of fs8.1 NILs revealed that fs8.1 alleles exert their effects on fruit shape early in carpel development at least 6 days before anthesis. Field evaluations of the NILs indicate that fs8.1 affects not only fruit shape, fruit length, and fruit weight but also the number of flowers and fruits per inflorescence, and the harvest index. The date of first flower and fruit diameter were not significantly affected.
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