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QTL detection for growth and latex production in a full-sib rubber tree population cultivated under suboptimal climate conditions

Rosa J.R.B.F., Mantello C.C., Garcia D., de Souza L.M., Da Silva C.C., Gazaffi R., da Silva C.C., Toledo-Silva G., Cubry P., Garcia A.A.F., de Souza A.P., Le Guen V.. 2018. BMC Plant Biology, 18 : 16 p..

DOI: 10.1186/s12870-018-1450-y

Background: Rubber tree is cultivated in mainly Southeast Asia and is by far the most significant source of natural rubber production worldwide. However, the genetic architecture underlying the primary agronomic traits of this crop has not been widely characterized. This study aimed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with growth and latex production using a biparental population established in suboptimal growth conditions in Brazil. Results: A full-sib population composed of 251 individuals was developed from crossing two high-producing Asiatic rubber tree cultivars, PR 255 and PB 217. This mapping population was genotyped with microsatellite markers from enriched genomic libraries or transcriptome datasets and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, leading to construction of a saturated multipoint integrated genetic map containing 354 microsatellite and 151 SNP markers. Height and circumference measurements repeated over a six-year period and registration of cumulative latex production during six consecutive months on the same individuals allowed in-depth characterization of the genetic values of several growth traits and precocious latex production. Growth traits, circumference and height, were overall positively correlated, whereas latex production was not correlated or even negatively correlated with growth traits. A total of 86 distinct QTLs were identified, most of which were detected for only one trait. Among these QTLs, 15 were linked to more than one phenotypic trait (up to 4 traits simultaneously). Latex production and circumference increments during the last wintering period were associated with the highest numbers of identified QTLs (eleven and nine, respectively), jointly explaining the most significantly observed phenotypic variances (44.1% and 44.4%, respectively). The most important QTL for latex production, located on linkage group 16, had an additive effect of the male parent PB 217 and corresponded to a QTL at the same position detected in a previous study carried out in Thailand for the biparental population RRIM 600 x PB 217. Conclusions: Our results identified a set of significant QTLs for rubber tree, showing that the performance of modern Asiatic cultivars can still be improved and paving the way for further marker-assisted selection, which could accelerate breeding programs.

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; latex; locus des caractères quantitatifs; carte génétique; marqueur génétique; transcription génique; sélection; accroissement du diamètre; brésil

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