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Theor Appl Genet. 2006 Aug;113(3):549-61. Epub 2006 Jun 10.

Quantitative trait analysis of seed yield and other complex traits in hybrid spring rapeseed (Brassica napus L.): 1. Identification of genomic regions from winter germplasm.

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Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program, and Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The introgression of winter germplasm into spring canola (Brassica napus L.) represents a novel approach to improve seed yield of hybrid spring canola. In this study, quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed yield and other traits were genetically mapped to determine the effects of genomic regions introgressed from winter germplasm into spring canola. Plant materials used comprised of two populations of doubled haploid (DH) lines having winter germplasm introgression from two related French winter cultivars and their testcrosses with a spring line used in commercial hybrids. These populations were evaluated for 2 years at two locations (Wisconsin, USA and Saskatchewan, Canada). Genetic linkage maps based on RFLP loci were constructed for each DH population. Six QTL were detected in the testcross populations for which the winter alleles increased seed yield. One of these QTL explained 11 and 19% of the phenotypic variation in the two Canadian environments. The winter allele for another QTL that increased seed yield was linked in coupling to a QTL allele for high glucosinolate content, suggesting that the transition of rapeseed into canola could have resulted in the loss of favorable seed yield alleles. Most QTL for which the introgressed allele decreased seed yield of hybrids mapped to genomic regions having homoeologous non-reciprocal transpositions. This suggests that allelic configurations created by these rearrangements might make an important contribution to genetic variation for complex traits in oilseed B. napus and could account for a portion of the heterotic effects in hybrids.

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