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Genetics. 2007 Dec;177(4):2433-44.

Flowering time quantitative trait Loci analysis of oilseed brassica in multiple environments and genomewide alignment with Arabidopsis.

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  • 1National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.


Most agronomical traits exhibit quantitative variation, which is controlled by multiple genes and are environmentally dependent. To study the genetic variation of flowering time in Brassica napus, a DH population and its derived reconstructed F(2) population were planted in 11 field environments. The flowering time varied greatly with environments; 60% of the phenotypic variation was attributed to genetic effects. Five to 18 QTL at a statistically significant level (SL-QTL) were detected in each environment and, on average, two new SL-QTL were discovered with each added environment. Another type of QTL, micro-real QTL (MR-QTL), was detected repeatedly from at least 2 of the 11 environments; resulting in a total of 36 SL-QTL and 6 MR-QTL. Sixty-three interacting pairs of loci were found; 50% of them were involved in QTL. Hundreds of floral transition genes in Arabidopsis were aligned with the linkage map of B. napus by in silico mapping; 28% of them aligned with QTL regions and 9% were consistent with interacting loci. One locus, BnFLC10, in N10 and a QTL cluster in N16 were specific to spring- and winter-cropped environments respectively. The number of QTL, interacting loci, and aligned functional genes revealed a complex genetic network controlling flowering time in B. napus.

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