The capacity to root from cuttings is a key factor for the mass deployment of superior genotypes in clonal forestry. We studied the genetic basis of rooting capacity by mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control growth rate and form of root traits in a full-sib family of 93 hybrids derived from an interspecific cross between two Populus species, P. deltoides and P. euramericana. The hybrid family was typed for different marker systems (including SSRs, AFLPs, RAPDs, ISSRs, and SNPs), leading to the construction of two linkage maps based on the female P. deltoides (D map) and male P. euramericana (E map) with a pseudotestcross mapping strategy. The two maps were scanned by functional mapping to detect QTLs that control early growth trajectories of two rooting traits, maximal single-root length and the total number of roots per cutting, measured at five time points in water culture. Of the six QTLs detected for these two growth traits, only one is segregating in P. deltoides with poor rooting capacity, while the other five are segregating in P. euramericana showing good rooting capacity. Tests with functional mapping suggest different developmental patterns of the genetic effects of these root QTLs in time course. Five QTLs were detected to change their effects on root growth trajectories with time, whereas one detected to affect root growth consistently in time course. Knowledge about the genetic and developmental control mechanisms of root QTLs will have important implications for the genetic improvement of vegetative propagation traits in Populus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology