JOURNAL ARTICLE

Quantitative trait loci analysis of melon (Cucumis melo L.) domestication-related traits

Aurora Díaz, Ana Montserrat Martín-Hernández, Ramón Dolcet-Sanjuan, Ana Garcés-Claver, José María Álvarez, Jordi Garcia-Mas, Belén Picó, Antonio José Monforte
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2017, 130 (9): 1837-1856
28584902
Loci on LGIV, VI, and VIII of melon genome are involved in the control of fruit domestication-related traits and they are candidate to have played a role in the domestication of the crop. The fruit of wild melons is very small (20-50 g) without edible pulp, contrasting with the large size and high pulp content of cultivated melon fruits. An analysis of quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling fruit morphology domestication-related traits was carried out using an in vitro maintained F2 population from the cross between the Indian wild melon "Trigonus" and the western elite cultivar 'Piel de Sapo'. Twenty-seven QTL were identified in at least two out of the three field trials. Six of them were also being detected in BC1 and BC3 populations derived from the same cross. Ten of them were related to fruit morphological traits, 12 to fruit size characters, and 5 to pulp content. The Trigonus alleles decreased the value of the characters, except for the QTL at andromonoecious gene at linkage group (LG) II, and the QTL for pulp content at LGV. QTL genotypes accounted for a considerable degree of the total phenotypic variation, reaching up to 46%. Around 66% of the QTL showed additive gene action, 19% exhibited dominance, and 25% consisted of overdominance. The regions on LGIV, VI, and VIII included the QTL with more consistent and strong effects on domestication-related traits. QTLs on those regions were validated in BC2S1, BC2S2, and BC3 families, with "Trigonus" allele decreasing the fruit morphological traits in all cases. The validated QTL could represent loci involved in melon domestication, although further experiments as genomic variation studies across wild and cultivated genotypes would be necessary to confirm this hypothesis.

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