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Evolution. 2008 Dec;62(12):3014-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00474.x. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Genetics of drought adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana II. QTL analysis of a new mapping population, KAS-1 x TSU-1.

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  • 1Department of Bioagricultural Sciences, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.


Despite compelling evidence that adaptation to local climate is common in plant populations, little is known about the evolutionary genetics of traits that contribute to climatic adaptation. A screen of natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana revealed Tsu-1 and Kas-1 to be opposite extremes for water-use efficiency and climate at collection sites for these accessions differs greatly. To provide a tool to understand the genetic basis of this putative adaptation, Kas-1 and Tsu-1 were reciprocally crossed to create a new mapping population. Analysis of F(3) families showed segregating variation in both delta(13)C and transpiration rate, and as expected these traits had a negative genetic correlation (r(g)=- 0.3). 346 RILs, 148 with Kas-1 cytoplasm and 198 with Tsu-1 cytoplasm, were advanced to the F(9) and genotyped using 48 microsatellites and 55 SNPs for a total of 103 markers. This mapping population was used for QTL analysis of delta(13)C using F(9) RIL means. Analysis of this reciprocal cross showed a large effect of cytoplasmic background, as well as two QTL for delta(13)C. The Kas-1 x Tsu-1 mapping population provides a powerful new resource for mapping QTL underlying natural variation and for dissecting the genetic basis of water-use efficiency differences.

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