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Theor Appl Genet. 2011 Jan;122(1):77-93. doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1424-4. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

QTL mapping for yield and lodging resistance in an enhanced SSR-based map for tef.

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  • 1Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, 240 Emerson Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Tef is a cereal crop of cultural and economic importance in Ethiopia. It is grown primarily for its grain though it is also an important source of fodder. Tef suffers from lodging that reduces both grain yield and quality. As a first step toward executing a marker-assisted breeding program for lodging resistance and grain yield improvement, a linkage map was constructed using 151 F(9) recombinant inbred lines obtained by single-seed-descent from a cross between Eragrostis tef and its wild relative Eragrostis pilosa. The map was primarily based on microsatellite (SSR) markers that were developed from SSR-enriched genomic libraries. The map consisted of 30 linkage groups and spanned a total length of 1,277.4 cM (78.7% of the genome) with an average distance of 5.7 cM between markers. This is the most saturated map for tef to date, and for the first time, all of the markers are PCR-based. Using agronomic data from 11 environments and marker data, it was possible to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling lodging, grain yield and 15 other related traits. The positive effects of the QTL identified from the wild parent were mainly for earliness, reduced culm length and lodging resistance. In this population, it is now possible to combine lodging resistance and grain yield using a marker-assisted selection program targeting the QTL identified for both traits. The newly developed SSR markers will play a key role in germplasm organization, fingerprinting and monitoring the success of the hybridization process in intra-specific crosses lacking distinctive morphological markers.

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