Main content area

Mapping of quantitative trait loci for lycopene content and fruit traits in Citrullus lanatus

Liu, Shi, Gao, Peng, Wang, Xuezheng, Davis, Angela R., Baloch, Abdul Majeed, Luan, Feishi
Euphytica 2015 v.202 no.3 pp. 411-426
quantitative trait loci, microsatellite repeats, watermelons, loci, linkage groups, DNA, lycopene, fruit quality, agronomic traits, Citrullus lanatus, chromosome mapping, genes, molecular cloning, genetic markers
Lycopene content is an important factor for determining watermelon fruit quality. However, the low DNA polymorphism among cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) has hindered the ability to establish high quality genetic maps and study the quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling the lycopene content trait. In this study, we successfully constructed a genetic map of watermelon to determine lycopene content and other horticultural fruit traits using a F₂population developed from a cross between the two lines of watermelon LSW-177 and Cream of Saskatchewan. The genetic map contained 16 linkage groups covering a total length of 2,039.5 cM, which included 37 SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeat) and 107 CAPSs (Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequences), with all of the CAPS markers developed from high-throughput re-sequencing of data from this study. Three CAPS markers (WII04E07-33,WII04E07-37,WII04E07-40) caused the F₂population to perfectly co-segregate for each F₂population plants. We also obtained 12 QTLs for all of the traits measured. Only one QTL (LCYB4.1) was detected with a high value of trait variation (83.50 %) that related to lycopene content and mapped on Chromosome 4 between CAPS markers WII04E07-33 and WII04E07-40, which could nearly account for all of the differences in lycopene content between the two parental strains. In this study, we highlighted 2,458 CAPS loci that were suitable for primer design with a polymorphism of 48.9 %, which is approximately a 12-fold increase from previous studies. The present map and QTLs will facilitate future studies on determining lycopene content related genes and cloning watermelon genes, while also providing for useful markers for breeding for lycopene content.