Mapping QTL for important seed traits in an interspecific F2 population of pigeonpea.
Seed traits present important breeding targets for enhancing grain yield and quality in various grain legume crops including pigeonpea. The present study reports significant genetic variation for six seed traits including seed length (SL), seed width (SW), seed thickness (ST), seed weight (SWT), electrical conductivity (EC) and water uptake (WU) among Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh acc. ICPL 20340 and Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars acc. ICP 15739 and an F2 population derived from this interspecific cross. Maximum phenotypic values recorded for the F2 population were higher than observed in the parent ICPL 20340 [F2 max vs ICPL 20340: SW (7.05 vs 5.38), ST (4.63 vs 4.51), EC (65.17 vs 9.72), WU (213.17 vs 109.5)], which suggested contribution of positive alleles from the wild parent, ICP 15739. Concurrently, to identify the QTL controlling these seed traits, we assayed two parents and 94 F2 individuals with 113 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. In the F2 population, 98 of the 113 SSRs showed Mendelian segregation ratio 1:2:1, whereas significant deviations were observed for 15 SSRs with their χ2 values ranging between 6.26 and 20.62. A partial genetic linkage map comprising 83 SSR loci was constructed. QTL analysis identified 15 marker-trait associations (MTAs) for seed traits on four linkage groups i.e. LG01, LG02, LG04 and LG05. Phenotypic variations (PVs) explained by these QTL ranged from 4.4 (WU) to 19.91% (EC). These genomic regions contributing significantly towards observed variability of seed traits would serve as potential candidates for future research that aims to improve seed traits in pigeonpea.
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