Plant architecture plays an important role in the yield, product quality, and cultivation practices of many crops. Branching pattern is one of the most important components in the plant architecture of melon (Cucumis melo L.). 'Melon Chukanbohon Nou 4 Go' (Nou-4) has a short-lateral-branching trait derived from a weedy melon, LB-1. This trait is reported to be controlled by a single recessive or incompletely dominant major gene called short lateral branching (slb). To find molecular markers for marker-assisted selection of this gene, we first constructed a linkage map using 94 F-2 plants derived from a cross between Nou-4 and 'Earl's Favourite (Harukei-3)', a cultivar with normal branching. We then conducted quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis and identified two loci for short lateral branching. A major QTL in linkage group (LG) XI, at which the Nou-4 allele is associated with short lateral branching, explained 50.9 % of the phenotypic variance, with a LOD score of 12.5. We suggest that this QTL corresponds to slb because of the magnitude of its effect. Another minor QTL in LG III, at which the Harukei-3 allele is associated with short lateral branching, explained 9.9 % of the phenotypic variance, with a LOD score of 4.2. Using an independent population, we demonstrated that an SSR marker linked to the QTL in LG XI (slb) could be used to select for short lateral branching. This is the first report of mapping a gene regulating the plant architecture of melon.
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- DOI : 10.1007/s10681-012-0667-3
- ISSN : 0014-2336
- Web of Science ID : WOS:000307885500011