Mapping QTLs with epistatic effects and QTL x environment interactions for plant height using a doubled haploid population in cultivated wheat

Kunpu Zhang, Jichun Tian, Liang Zhao, Shanshan Wang
Journal of Genetics and Genomics 2008, 35 (2): 119-27
Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for plant height in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were studied using a set of 168 doubled haploid (DH) lines, which were derived from the cross Huapei 3/Yumai 57. A genetic linkage map was constructed using 283 SSR and 22 EST-SSR markers. The DH population and the parents were evaluated for wheat plant height in 2005 and 2006 in Tai'an and 2006 in Suzhou. QTL analyses were performed using the software of QTLNetwork version 2.0 based on the mixed linear model. Four additive QTLs and five pairs of epistatic effects were detected, which were distributed on chromosomes 3A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 6A, 7B, and 7D. Among them, three additive QTLs and three pairs of epistatic QTLs showed QTL x environment interactions (QEs). Two major QTLs, Qph4B and Qph4D, which accounted for 14.51% and 20.22% of the phenotypic variation, were located similar to the reported locations of the dwarfing genes Rht1 and Rht2, respectively. The Qph3A-2 with additive effect was not reported in previous linkage mapping studies. The total QTL effects detected for the plant height explained 85.04% of the phenotypic variation, with additive effects 46.07%, epistatic effects 19.89%, and QEs 19.09%. The results showed that both additive effects and epistatic effects were important genetic bases of wheat plant height, which were subjected to environmental modifications, and caused dramatic changes in phenotypic effects. The information obtained in this study will be useful for manipulating the QTLs for wheat plant height by molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS).

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