Association mapping of seed quality traits using the Canadian flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) core collection


Soto-Cerda, B.J., Duguid, S., Booker, H., Rowland, G., Diederichsen, A., Cloutier, S. (2014). Association mapping of seed quality traits using the Canadian flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) core collection, 127(4), 881-896.

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Key message: The identification of stable QTL for seed quality traits by association mapping of a diverse panel of linseed accessions establishes the foundation for assisted breeding and future fine mapping in linseed. Linseed oil is valued for its food and non-food applications. Modifying its oil content and fatty acid (FA) profiles to meet market needs in a timely manner requires clear understanding of their quantitative trait loci (QTL) architectures, which have received little attention to date. Association mapping is an efficient approach to identify QTL in germplasm collections. In this study, we explored the quantitative nature of seed quality traits including oil content (OIL), palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid (LIO) linolenic acid (LIN) and iodine value in a flax core collection of 390 accessions assayed with 460 microsatellite markers. The core collection was grown in a modified augmented design at two locations over 3 years and phenotypic data for all seven traits were obtained from all six environments. Significant phenotypic diversity and moderate to high heritability for each trait (0.73-0.99) were observed. Most of the candidate QTL were stable as revealed by multivariate analyses. Nine candidate QTL were identified, varying from one for OIL to three for LIO and LIN. Candidate QTL for LIO and LIN co-localized with QTL previously identified in bi-parental populations and some mapped nearby genes known to be involved in the FA biosynthesis pathway. Fifty-eight percent of the QTL alleles were absent (private) in the Canadian cultivars suggesting that the core collection possesses QTL alleles potentially useful to improve seed quality traits. The candidate QTL identified herein will establish the foundation for future marker-assisted breeding in linseed. © 2014 The Author(s).