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Improving the quality of African robustas: QTLs for yield- and quality-related traits in Coffea canephora

Leroy T., De Bellis F., Legnaté H., Kananura E., Gonzales G., Pereira L.F.P., Andrade A.C., Charmetant P., Montagnon C., Cubry P., Marraccini P., Pot D., De Kochko A.. 2011. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 7 (4) : p. 781-798.

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-011-0374-6

Coffea canephora breeding requires combining sustainable productivity with improved technological and cup quality characteristics. Beverage quality is a complex and subjective trait, and breeding for this trait is time consuming and depends on knowledge of the genetics of its components. A highly variable C. canephora progeny resulting from an intraspecific cross was assessed for 63 traits over 5 years. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling agronomic, technological, and quality-related traits, a genetic map comprising 236 molecular markers was constructed, and composite interval mapping was performed. Beverage quality was evaluated in relation to biochemical and cup tasting traits. QTLs were identified for almost half of the traits evaluated, with effects ranging from 6% to 80% of phenotypic variation. Most of them present a consistent detection over years. The strongest QTLs explained a high percentage of the variation for yield in 2006 (34% to 57%), bean size (25% to 35%), content of chlorogenic acids (22% to 35%), sucrose and trigonelline content (29% to 81%), and acidity and bitterness of coffee beverages (30% to 55%). Regions of the C. canephora genome influencing beverage quality were identified. Five QTL zones were co-localized with candidate genes related to the biosynthesis of the analyzed traits: two genes coding for caffeine biosynthesis, one gene implicated in the biosynthesis of chlorogenic acids, and two genes implicated in sugar metabolism. This is one of the first studies on the identification of QTLs combining agronomic and quality traits in coffee. The high variability of quality traits within C. canephora and the presence of consistent QTLs offer breeders a promising tool to improve coffee cup quality.

Mots-clés : coffea canephora; côte d'ivoire

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