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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 8;6:29345. doi: 10.1038/srep29345.

Construction of high-density genetic linkage map and identification of flowering-time QTLs in orchardgrass using SSRs and SLAF-seq.

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Department of Grassland Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China.
Agronomy Department, University of Florida, FL, 32610, USA.
Biomarker Technologies Corporation, Beijing, 101300, China.


Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) is one of the most economically important perennial, cool-season forage species grown and pastured worldwide. High-density genetic linkage mapping is a valuable and effective method for exploring complex quantitative traits. In this study, we developed 447,177 markers based on SLAF-seq and used them to perform a comparative genomics analysis. Perennial ryegrass sequences were the most similar (5.02%) to orchardgrass sequences. A high-density linkage map of orchardgrass was constructed using 2,467 SLAF markers and 43 SSRs, which were distributed on seven linkage groups spanning 715.77 cM. The average distance between adjacent markers was 0.37 cM. Based on phenotyping in four environments, 11 potentially significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for two target traits-heading date (HD) and flowering time (FT)-were identified and positioned on linkage groups LG1, LG3, and LG5. Significant QTLs explained 8.20-27.00% of the total phenotypic variation, with the LOD ranging from 3.85-12.21. Marker167780 and Marker139469 were associated with FT and HD at the same location (Ya'an) over two different years. The utility of SLAF markers for rapid generation of genetic maps and QTL analysis has been demonstrated for heading date and flowering time in a global forage grass.

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