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Genetics. 2007 May;176(1):659-74. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

The genetic basis of zinc tolerance in the metallophyte Arabidopsis halleri ssp. halleri (Brassicaceae): an analysis of quantitative trait loci.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, UMR CNRS 8016, FR CNRS 1818, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille-Lille1, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France.


The species Arabidopsis halleri, an emerging model for the study of heavy metal tolerance and accumulation in plants, has evolved a high level of constitutive zinc tolerance. Mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) was used to investigate the genetic architecture of zinc tolerance in this species. A first-generation backcross progeny of A. halleri ssp. halleri from a highly contaminated industrial site and its nontolerant relative A. lyrata ssp. petraea was produced and used for QTL mapping of zinc tolerance. A genetic map covering most of the A. halleri genome was constructed using 85 markers. Among these markers, 65 were anchored in A. thaliana and revealed high synteny with other Arabidopsis genomes. Three QTL of comparable magnitude on three different linkage groups were identified. At all QTL positions zinc tolerance was enhanced by A. halleri alleles, indicating directional selection for higher zinc tolerance in this species. The two-LOD support intervals associated with these QTL cover 24, 4, and 13 cM. The importance of each of these three regions is emphasized by their colocalization with HMA4, MTP1-A, and MTP1-B, respectively, three genes well known to be involved in metal homeostasis and tolerance in plants.

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