Mei, Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc., is an ornamental plant popular in East Asia and, as an important member of genus Prunus, has played a pivotal role in systematic studies of the Rosaceae. However, the genetic architecture of botanical traits in this species remains elusive. This paper represents the first genome-wide mapping study of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect stem growth and form, leaf morphology and leaf anatomy in an intraspecific cross derived from two different mei cultivars. Genetic mapping based on a high-density linkage map constricted from 120 SSRs and 1,484 SNPs led to the detection of multiple QTLs for each trait, some of which exert pleiotropic effects on correlative traits. Each QTL explains 3-12% of the phenotypic variance. Several leaf size traits were found to share common QTLs, whereas growth-related traits and plant form traits might be controlled by a different set of QTLs. Our findings provide unique insights into the genetic control of tree growth and architecture in mei and help to develop an efficient breeding program for selecting superior mei cultivars.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes