Development of Genetic Linkage Maps and Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci Influencing Seed Oil Content, Fatty Acid Profile and Flowering Time in Brassica napus L.
Identification of allelic variation through quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping offers possibilities for the improvement of quantitatively inherited traits. This requires a genetic map along with the phenotypic characterization of a mapping population. A doubled haploid (DH) Polo X Topas population consisting of 194 lines and a recombinant inbred line population of 92 lines was developed. Individual genetic maps derived from each population were integrated into a consensus map. The DH-based genetic map was used for QTL mapping. The DH-based map was comprised of 620 loci that were assembled into 19 linkage groups that were anchored to the B. napus chromosomes. The DH-based map covered 2244.1 cM genomic distance with an average marker interval of 3.7 cM. The DH population was phenotyped in four environments with each line replicated twice in a randomized complete block design. Days to flowering was recorded and oil content and fatty acid composition were determined using Near Infrared spectroscopy (NIR) and Gas Chromatography, respectively. Fourteen QTL were identified for oil content, 33 QTL for palmitic acid content, 18 QTL for stearic acid content, 21 QTL for oleic acid content, 20 QTL for linoleic acid content, 23 QTL for linolenic acid content, 16 QTL for arachidic acid content and 14 QTL for flowering time. Oil content QTL were identified on five linkage groups, A3, A10, C1, C5, and C6. An oil content QTL, qOIL-A10c appeared in all four environments, whereas qOIL-A10a appeared in only one environment but explained 26.99% variation. The oil content in the population ranged from 35% to 55.5% with the parents having values of 42% to 46%. Two genomic regions on C3, with map positions at 147.83 cM and 154.55 cM harbored QTL (rQTL) for all the fatty acids studied. The additive effects of the rQTL reveal a correlation pattern which is supported by the phenotypic correlation observed between the fatty acids. This suggests rQTL have role in the fatty acid composition and possibly determine total seed oil content. The rQTL and flanking markers of the identified QTL offer utility in further development of B. napus.