Despite a tremendous effort to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for agriculturally and biologically important traits in plants, our understanding of how a QTL governs the developmental process of plant seeds remains elusive. In this article, we address this issue by describing a model for functional mapping of seed development through the incorporation of the relationship between vegetative and reproductive growth. The time difference of reproductive from vegetative growth is described by Reeve and Huxley's allometric equation. Thus, the implementation of this equation into the framework of functional mapping allows dynamic QTLs for seed development to be identified more precisely. By estimating and testing mathematical parameters that define Reeve and Huxley's allometric equations of seed growth, the dynamic pattern of the genetic effects of the QTLs identified can be analyzed. We used the model to analyze a soybean data, leading to the detection of QTLs that control the growth of seed dry weight. Three dynamic QTLs, located in two different linkage groups, were detected to affect growth curves of seed dry weight. The QTLs detected may be used to improve seed yield with marker-assisted selection by altering the pattern of seed development in a hope to achieve a maximum size of seeds at a harvest time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Information Systems
- Molecular Biology