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Fruit size QTL analysis of an F1 population derived from a cross between a domesticated sweet cherry cultivar and a wild forest sweet cherry

Abstract

Maximizing fruit size is critical for profitable sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) production. Yet, despite its importance, little is known about the genetic control of fruit size. The objective of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for fruit size and two essential components of fruit size, mesocarp cell number and size. This study utilized a double pseudo-testcross population derived from reciprocal crosses between a sweet cherry cultivar with ~8 g fruit, “Emperor Francis” (EF), and a wild forest sweet cherry selection with ~2 g fruit, “New York 54” (NY). A total of 190 F1 progeny previously utilized for the construction of the linkage maps were evaluated in 2006 and 2007 for fruit weight, length, and diameter; mesocarp cell number and length; and pit length and diameter. In 2008, a subset of this population was again evaluated for fruit weight. Correlation analysis revealed that the three fruit size traits were highly correlated with each other, and mesocarp cell number, not cell length, was correlated with fruit size. Three QTLs were identified for each fruit size trait, and one QTL was identified for mesocarp cell number. Fruit size QTLs were found on linkage group 2 on the EF map (EF 2) and linkage groups 2 and 6 on the NY map (NY 2 and NY 6). On EF 2, the cell number QTL clustered with the fruit size QTL, suggesting that the underlying basis of the fruit size increase associated with this QTL was an increase in mesocarp cell number. On NY 6, pit length and diameter QTLs clustered with those for fruit size, suggesting that the underlying morphological basis of this fruit size QTL is the difference in pit size.

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Acknowledgment

This project was supported by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grant 2005-35300-15454 from the US Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

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Correspondence to Amy F. Iezzoni.

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Communicated by E. Dirlewanger

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Zhang, G., Sebolt, A.M., Sooriyapathirana, S.S. et al. Fruit size QTL analysis of an F1 population derived from a cross between a domesticated sweet cherry cultivar and a wild forest sweet cherry. Tree Genetics & Genomes 6, 25–36 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-009-0225-x

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Keywords

  • Prunus avium
  • Fruit size
  • Cell number
  • QTL mapping
  • Pseudo-testcross