Detection of QTL for yield-related traits using recombinant inbred lines derived from exotic and elite US Western Shipping melon germplasm

J E Zalapa, J E Staub, J D McCreight, S M Chung, H Cuevas
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2007, 114 (7): 1185-201
The inheritance of yield-related traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.; 2n = 2x = 24) is poorly understood, and the mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for such traits has not been reported. Therefore, a set of 81 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) was developed from a cross between the monoecious, highly branched line USDA 846-1 and a standard vining, andromonoecious cultivar, 'Top Mark'. The RIL, parental lines, and three control cultivars ('Esteem', 'Sol Dorado', and 'Hales Best Jumbo') were grown at Hancock, WI and El Centro, CA in 2002, and evaluated for primary branch number (PB), fruit number per plant (FN), fruit weight per plant (FW), average weight per fruit (AWF), and percentage of mature fruit per plot (PMF). A 190-point genetic map was constructed using 114 RAPD, 43 SSR, 32 AFLP markers, and one phenotypic trait. Fifteen linkage groups spanned 1,116 cM with a mean marker interval of 5.9 cM. A total of 37 QTL were detected in both locations (PB = 6, FN = 9, FW = 12, AWF = 5, and PMF = 5). QTL analyses revealed four location-independent factors for PB (pb1.1, pb1.2, pb2.3, and pb10.5), five for FN (fn1.1, fn1.2, fn1.3, fn2.4, and fn8.8), four for FW (fw5.8, fw6.10, fw8.11, and fw8.12), two for AWF (awf1.3 and awf8.5), and one for PMF (pmf10.4). The significant (P </= 0.05) positive phenotypic correlations observed among PB, FN, and FW, and negative phenotypic correlations between PB and AWF and between FN and AWF were consistent with the genomic locations and effects (negative vs. positive) of the QTL detected. Results indicate that genes resident in highly branched melon types have potential for increasing yield in US Western Shipping type germplasm via marker-assisted selection.

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