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Identifying Quantitative Trait Loci for Resistance to Sclerotinia Head Rot in Two USDA Sunflower Germplasms

August 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  8
Pages  926 - 931

B. Yue, S. A. Radi, B. A. Vick, X. Cai, S. Tang, S. J. Knapp, T. J. Gulya, J. F. Miller, and J. Hu

First and fourth authors: Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105; second author: Dow AgroSciences, 2230 Highway 75 North, Breckenridge, MN 56560; third, seventh, eighth, and ninth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, Fargo, ND 58105; and fifth and sixth authors: Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602.

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Accepted for publication 3 April 2008.

Sclerotinia head rot is a major disease of sunflower in the world, and quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping could facilitate understanding of the genetic basis of head rot resistance and breeding in sunflower. One hundred twenty-three F2:3 and F2:4 families from a cross between HA 441 and RHA 439 were studied. The mapping population was evaluated for disease resistance in three field experiments in a randomized complete block design with two replicates. Disease incidence (DI) and disease severity (DS) were assessed. A genetic map with 180 target region amplification polymorphism, 32 simple sequence repeats, 11 insertion-deletion, and 2 morphological markers was constructed. Nine DI and seven DS QTL were identified with each QTL explaining 8.4 to 34.5% of phenotypic variance, suggesting the polygenic basis of the resistance to head rot. Five of these QTL were identified in more than one experiment, and each QTL explained more than 12.9% of phenotypic variance. These QTL could be useful in sunflower breeding. Although a positive correlation existed between the two disease indices, most of the respective QTL were located in different chromosomal regions, suggesting a different genetic basis for the two indices.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2008