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Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Apr;118(6):1157-71. doi: 10.1007/s00122-009-0970-0. Epub 2009 Feb 15.

QTL analysis of plant development and fruit traits in pepper and performance of selective phenotyping.

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INRA-Avignon, UR 1052, Génétique et Amélioration des Fruits et Légumes, BP 94, 84143, Montfavet Cedex, France.


A QTL analysis was performed to determine the genetic basis of 13 horticultural traits conditioning yield in pepper (Capsicum annuum). The mapping population was a large population of 297 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) originating from a cross between the large-fruited bell pepper cultivar 'Yolo Wonder' and the small-fruited chilli pepper 'Criollo de Morelos 334'. A total of 76 QTLs were detected for 13 fruit and plant traits, grouped in 28 chromosome regions. These QTLs explained together between 7% (internode growth time) and 91% (fruit diameter) of the phenotypic variation. The QTL analysis was also performed on two subsets of 141 and 93 RILs sampled using the MapPop software. The smaller populations allowed for the detection of a reduced set of QTLs and reduced the overall percentage of trait variation explained by QTLs. The frequency of false positives as well as the individual effect of QTLs increased in reduced population sets as a result of reduced sampling. The results from the QTL analysis permitted an overall glance over the genetic architecture of traits considered by breeders for selection. Colinearities between clusters of QTLs controlling fruit traits and/or plant development in distinct pepper species and in related solanaceous crop species (tomato and eggplant) suggests that shared mechanisms control the shape and growth of different organs throughout these species.

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