Molecular marker analysis of genes controlling morphological variation in Brassica rapa (syn. campestris)
Construction of a detailed RFLP linkage map of B. rapa (syn. campestris) made it possible, for the first time, to study individual genes controlling quantitative traits in this species. Ninety-five F2 individuals from a cross of Chinese cabbage cv ‘Michihili’ by Spring broccoli were analyzed for segregation at 220 RFLP loci and for variation in leaf, stem, and flowering characteristics. The number, location, and magnitude of genes underlying 28 traits were determined by using an interval mapping method. Zero to five putative quantitative trait loci (QTL) were detected for each of the traits examined. There were unequal gene effects on the expression of many traits, and the inheritance patterns of traits ranged from those controlled by a single major gene plus minor genes to those controlled by polygenes with small and similar effects. The effect of marker locus density on detection of QTL was analyzed, and the results showed that the number of QTL detected did not change when the number of marker loci used for QTL mapping was decreased from 220 to 126; however, a further reduction from 126 to 56 caused more than 15% loss of the total QTL detected. The detection of putative minor QTL by removing the masking effects of major QTL was explored.