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Mapping quantitative trait loci controlling oil content, oleic acid and linoleic acid content in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)


Sunflower oil with high oleic acid content is in great demand due to its nutritional as well as industrial benefits. The trait is mainly controlled by dominant alleles at a major gene, Ol, with other modifiers. The objectives of this research were to map the oil content, oleic acid and linoleic acid content in sunflower seeds. An F2 mapping population from cytoplasmic male-sterile line COSF 7A (33–35 % oleic acid) and high oleic acid inbred line HO 5–13 (88–90 % oleic acid) was developed and phenotyped for oil content, oleic acid and linoleic acid content at the F2 seed level. High phenotypic and genotypic coefficients of variation were recorded for oleic acid and linoleic acid content. High heritability and high genetic advance as percent of mean was recorded for oleic acid and linoleic acid content. This indicated the presence of the additive type of gene action controlling the traits oleic acid content and linoleic acid content. The Ol gene was mapped to linkage group (LG) 14 and tightly linked to the marker HO_Fsp_b. In addition, two more quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for oleic acid content were identified in LG8 and LG9. Two QTLs for oil content and two QTLs for linoleic acid content were also identified. All these QTLs explained over 10 % of phenotypic variation. A study was conducted with 13 genotypes differing in oil quality as well as quantity over three seasons to assess the reliability of the identified QTLs over seasons. It resulted in the identification of two potential QTLs for oleic acid as well as linoleic acid content with the markers ORS 762 and HO_Fsp_b. These markers explained more than 57.6–66.6 % of phenotypic variation. Hence it can be concluded that these markers/QTLs would be useful in the marker-assisted selection breeding programme to improve oil quality. The present study also indicated the presence of at least two other genomic regions controlling oleic and linoleic acid content in sunflower.

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Ameena Premnath was supported by INSPIRE fellowship (IF 120124) of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

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Correspondence to Manivannan Narayana.

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Premnath, A., Narayana, M., Ramakrishnan, C. et al. Mapping quantitative trait loci controlling oil content, oleic acid and linoleic acid content in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Mol Breeding 36, 106 (2016).

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  • Helianthus annuus
  • Oil content
  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • QTL