Identification of quantitative trait loci involved in fruit quality traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

A J Monforte, M Oliver, M J Gonzalo, J M Alvarez, R Dolcet-Sanjuan, P Arús
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2004, 108 (4): 750-8
Two populations [an F(2) and a set of 77 double haploid lines (DHLs)] developed from a cross between a 'Piel de Sapo' cultivar (PS) and the exotic Korean accession PI 161375 were used to detect QTLs involved in melon fruit quality traits: earliness (EA), fruit shape (FS), fruit weight (FW) and sugar content (SSC); and loci involved in the colour traits: external colour (ECOL) and flesh colour (FC). High variation was found, showing transgressive segregations for all traits. The highest correlation among experiments was observed for FS and the lowest for FW and SSC. Correlations among traits within experiments were, in general, not significant. QTL analysis, performed by Composite Interval Mapping, allowed the detection of nine QTLs for EA, eight for FS, six for FW and five for SSC. Major QTLs ( R(2)>25%) were detected for all traits. QTLs for different traits were no clearly co-localised, suggesting low pleiotropic effects at QTLs. Sixty-one per cent of them were detected in two or more experiments. QTLs for FS were detected in more trials than QTLs for FW and SSC, confirming that FS is under highly hereditable polygenic control. ECOL segregated as yellow:green in both experimental populations. The genetic control of ECOL was found to be complex, probably involving more than two loci with epistatic interactions. One of these loci was mapped on linkage group 9, but the other loci could not be clearly resolved. FC segregated as white:green:orange. The locus responsible for the green FC was mapped on linkage group 1, and it was proposed to correspond to the previously described locus gf. The genetic control of orange FC was complex: two loci in linkage groups 2 and 12 were associated with orange flesh, but larger population sizes would be necessary to elucidate completely the genetic control of orange flesh in this cross. Exotic alleles from PI161375 showed beneficial effects on EA, FW and SSC, indicating the usefulness of PI 161375 as a new source of genetic variability to improve European and American cultivars.

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