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Validation of QTLs for plant ideotype, earliness and growth habit traits in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan Millsp.)

Patil, P.G., Bohra, A., Satheesh, N.S.J., Dubey, J., Pandey, P., Dutta, D., Singh, F., Singh, I.P. and Singh, N.P. (2018) Validation of QTLs for plant ideotype, earliness and growth habit traits in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan Millsp.). Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, 24 (6). pp. 1245-1259.

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Pigeonpea productivity is greatly constrained by poor plant ideotype of existing Indian cultivars. Enhancing pigeonpea yield demands a renewed focus on restructuring the ideal plant type by using more efficient approaches like genomic tools. Therefore, the present study aims to identify and validate a set of QTLs/gene(s) presumably associated with various plant ideotype traits in pigeonpea. A total of 133 pigeonpea germplasms were evaluated along with four checks in the augmented design for various ideotype traits i.e. initiation of flowering (IF), days to 50% flowering (DFF), days to maturity (DM), plant height (PH), primary branches (PB), seeds per pod (SP) and pod length (PL). We observed significant genetic diversity in the germplasm lines for these traits. The genetic control of IF, DFF, DM and PH renders these traits suitable for detection of marker trait associations. By using residual maximum likelihood algorithm, we obtained appropriate variance–covariance structures for modeling heterogeneity, correlation of genetic effects and non-genetic residual effects. The estimates of genetic correlations indicated a strong association among earliness traits. The best linear unbiased prediction values were calculated for individual traits, and association analysis was performed in a panel of 95 diverse genotypes with 19 genic SSRs. Out of five QTL-flanking SSRs used here for validation, only ASSR295 could show significant association with FDR and Bonferroni corrections, and accounted for 15.4% IF, 14.2% DFF and 16.2% DM of phenotypic variance (PV). Remaining SSR markers (ASSR1486, ASSR206 and ASSR408) could not qualify false discovery rate (FDR) and Bonferroni criteria, hence declared as false positives. Additionally, we identified two highly significant SSR markers, ASSR8 and ASSR390 on LG 1 and LG 2, respectively. The SSR marker ASSR8 explained up to 22 and 11% PV for earliness traits and PB respectively, whereas ASSR390 controlled up to 17% PV for earliness traits. The validation and identification of new QTLs in pigeonpea across diverse genetic backgrounds brightens the prospects for marker-assisted selection to improve yield gains in pigeonpea.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
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