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Genetics. 1994 Dec;138(4):1293-300.

Identification of quantitative trait loci influencing wood specific gravity in an outbred pedigree of loblolly pine.

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  • 1USDA Forest Service, Institute of Forest Genetics, Berkeley California 94701.


We report the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing wood specific gravity (WSG) in an outbred pedigree of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). QTL mapping in an outcrossing species is complicated by the presence of multiple alleles (> 2) at QTL and marker loci. Multiple alleles at QTL allow the examination of interaction among alleles at QTL (deviation from additive gene action). Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) marker genotypes and wood specific gravity phenotypes were determined for 177 progeny. Two RFLP linkage maps were constructed, representing maternal and paternal parent gamete segregations as inferred from diploid progeny RFLP genotypes. RFLP loci segregating for multiple alleles were vital for aligning the two maps. Each RFLP locus was assayed for cosegregation with WSG QTL using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Five regions of the genome contained one or more RFLP loci showing differences in mean WSG at or below the P = 0.05 level for progeny as grouped by RFLP genotype. One region contained a marker locus (S6a) whose QTL-associated effects were highly significant (P > 0.0002). Marker S6a segregated for multiple alleles, a prerequisite for determining the number of alleles segregating at the linked QTL and analyzing the interactions among QTL alleles. The QTL associated with marker S6a appeared to be segregating for multiple alleles which interacted with each other and with environments. No evidence for digenic epistasis was found among the five QTL.

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