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Identification of heat tolerance loci in broccoli through bulked segregant analysis using whole genome resequencing

Branham, Sandra E., Farnham, Mark W.
Euphytica 2019 v.215 no.2 pp. 34
Brassica oleracea var. italica, broccoli, crop production, cultivars, doubled haploids, field experimentation, flowering, genes, genetic improvement, heat tolerance, loci, marker-assisted selection, phenotype, plant breeding, quantitative trait loci, sequence analysis, single nucleotide polymorphism, summer, temperature
Most broccoli cultivars are sensitive to high temperatures during the early stages of floral development causing a severe decline of head quality or even complete lack of head formation under superoptimal crop production temperatures. Several heat tolerant lines have been developed in recent years but there have been few studies of the genetic basis of this complex, polygenic trait. A doubled haploid population of broccoli was evaluated for head quality across two summer field trials with the phenotypic extremes validated in two additional summer fields. Whole-genome resequencing of the bulked segregants was used for a quantitative trait loci (QTL)-seq analysis of heat tolerance. Two novel QTL, which differ from previously reported QTL, were identified. Nonsynonymous SNPs were found in a block of flowering time genes within QHT_C09.2 and may explain the significant negative correlation between time to head maturity and heat tolerance. Breeding further genetic gains in this complex, polygenic trait could be expedited through marker assisted selection and gene pyramiding using markers developed from the QTL identified herein.