Association of sugar content QTL and PQL with physiological traits relevant to frost damage resistance in pea under field and controlled conditions
To increase yield in pea (Pisum sativum L.), autumn sowing would be preferable. Hence, frost tolerance of pea became a major trait of interest for breeders. In order to better understand the cold acclimation in pea, Champagne a frost tolerant line and Terese, a frost sensitive line, and their recombinant inbred lines (RIL) were studied. RIL frost tolerance was evaluated by a frost damage scale under field as well as controlled conditions. A quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach was used to identify chromosomal regions linked to frost tolerance. The detected QTL explained from 6.5 to 46.5% of the phenotypic variance. Amongst them, those located on linkage groups 5 and 6 were consistent with over all experiments, in field as well as in controlled environments. In order to improve the understanding of the frost tolerance mechanisms, several cold acclimation key characters such as concentration of sugars, electrolyte leakage, osmotic pressure, and activity of RuBisCO were assessed. Some of these physiological QTL colocalised with QTL for frost damage, in particular two raffinose QTL on LG5 and LG6 and one RuBisCO activity QTL on LG6, explaining 8.8 to 27.0% of the phenotypic variance. In addition, protein quantitative loci were mapped; some of them colocalised with frost damage and physiological QTL on LG5 and LG6, explaining 16.0-43.6% of the phenotypic variance. Raffinose metabolism and RuBisCO activity and its effect on photosynthesis might play a major role in cold acclimation of pea.
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