Comparative Analysis Of QTLs Affecting Plant Height And Flowering Among Closely-related Diploid And Polyploid Genomes
Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting plant height and flowering were studied in the two Saccharum species from which modern sugarcane cultivars are derived. Two segregating populations derived from interspecific crosses between Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum were genotyped with 735 DNA markers. Among the 65 significant associations found between these two traits and DNA markers, 35 of the loci were linked to sugarcane genetic maps and 30 were unlinked DNA markers. Twenty-one of the 35 mapped QTLs were clustered in eight genomic regions of six sugarcane homologous groups. Some of these could be divergent alleles at homologous loci, making the actual number of genes implicated in these traits much less than 35. Four QTL clusters controlling plant height in sugarcane corresponded closely to four of the six plant-height QTLs previously mapped in sorghum. One QTL controlling flowering in sugarcane corresponded to one of three flowering QTLs mapped in sorghum. The correspondence in locations of QTLs affecting plant height and flowering in sugarcane and sorghum reinforce the notion that the simple sorghum genome is a valuable "template" for molecular dissection of the much more complex sugarcane genome.Key words: DNA markers, genetic map, quantitative trait loci, Saccharum.