Analysis of QTLs for erucic acid and oil content in seeds on A8 chromosome and the linkage drag between the alleles for the two traits in Brassica napus.J Genet Genomics. 2010 Apr; 37(4):231-40.JG
The history of canola breeding began with the discovery of germplasm with low erucic acid content in seeds of spring forage cultivar in the 1950's. FAE1 mutations led to a dramatic decrease of the seed erucic acid content in Arabidopsis thaliana. The products of the two FAE1 loci, BnA8.FAE1 and BnC3.FAE1, showed additive effects to the level of erucic acid content in oilseed rape. Previous research believed that the pleiotropy of FAE1 was responsible for the decrease in seed oil content along with the reduction of seed erucic acid content in the modern cultivars. TN DH population was developed from a canola cultivar Tapidor and a Chinese traditional cultivar Ningyou7. The population had been tested in 10 and 11 environments to map QTLs for the erucic acid content and oil content in seeds. As the map resolution increased, a novel QTL for seed erucic acid content was revealed, after Meta-analysis, 7 cM away from the most significant seed erucic acid content QTL where BnA8.FAE1 is located. Seven independent QTLs for seed oil content (qOC) were detected around the two seed erucic acid content QTLs (qEA) across 39.20 cM on linkage group A8. Two of the qOCs co-localized with the two qEAs, respectively, and were detected in a single environment. The other five qOCs were detected in 10 of 11 environments independent of qEAs. Alleles from Tapidor in all the QTLs at the 0-39.20 cM region contributed negative effects to either erucic acid content or oil content in seeds. Parallel, genotyping showed that on 5 of the 7 QTLs regions, Tapidor alleles had the same genotypes with that in 'Liho', the original low seed erucic acid content source. Through rounds of crossbreeding with oil-cropped cultivars and intensive selection for multi generations, Tapidor still had the inferior alleles for low seed oil content from 'Liho', the forage rape. This showed a strong linkage drag of low seed oil content, which was controlled by the five qEA-independent qOCs, with low seed erucic acid content. Ninety cultivars of B. napus from 8 countries were used to analyze the genetic drag with 9 molecular markers located in the QTL confidence intervals (24.04 cM) on linkage group A8. It was noticed that more than 46% of the cultivars with low seed erucic acid content trait remained the genotype of low seed oil content at least in one locus. Backcross and marker-assisted selection could break the genetic drag between the low oil content and erucic acid in seeds in the process for breeding modern high seed oil content canola cultivars.