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QTL mapping in multiple populations and development stages reveals dynamic quantitative trait loci for fruit size in cucumbers of different market classes

Yiqun Weng, Marivi Colle, Yuhui Wang, Luming Yang, Mor Rubinstein, Amir Sherman, Ron Ophir, Rebecca Grumet
Theoretical and applied genetics 2015 v.128 no.9 pp. 1747-1763
fresh market, quantitative trait loci, flowering, fruits, marker-assisted selection, Cucumis sativus, food grades, cucumbers, models, fruit quality, chromosome mapping, genes, domestication, markets, fruiting, China
KEY MESSAGE : QTL analysis in multi-development stages with different QTL models identified 12 consensus QTLs underlying fruit elongation and radial growth presenting a dynamic view of genetic control of cucumber fruit development. Fruit size is an important quality trait in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) of different market classes. However, the genetic and molecular basis of fruit size variations in cucumber is not well understood. In this study, we conducted QTL mapping of fruit size in cucumber using F₂, F₂-derived F₃ families and recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from a cross between two inbred lines Gy14 (North American picking cucumber) and 9930 (North China fresh market cucumber). Phenotypic data of fruit length and diameter were collected at three development stages (anthesis, immature and mature fruits) in six environments over 4 years. QTL analysis was performed with three QTL models including composite interval mapping (CIM), Bayesian interval mapping (BIM), and multiple QTL mapping (MQM). Twenty-nine consistent and distinct QTLs were detected for nine traits from multiple mapping populations and QTL models. Synthesis of information from available fruit size QTLs allowed establishment of 12 consensus QTLs underlying fruit elongation and radial growth, which presented a dynamic view of genetic control of cucumber fruit development. Results from this study highlighted the benefits of QTL analysis with multiple QTL models and different mapping populations in improving the power of QTL detection. Discussion was presented in the context of domestication and diversifying selection of fruit length and diameter, marker-assisted selection of fruit size, as well as identification of candidate genes for fruit size QTLs in cucumber.