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Meta-analysis of cotton fiber quality QTLs across diverse environments in a Gossypium hirsutum x G. barbadense RIL population

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-10-132

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The RIL population displayed a large variability for all major fiber traits. QTL analyses were performed on a per-site basis by composite interval mapping. Among the 651 putative QTLs (LOD > 2), 167 had a LOD exceeding permutation based thresholds. Coincidence in QTL location across data sets was assessed for the fiber trait categories strength, elongation, length, length uniformity, fineness/maturity, and color. A meta-analysis of more than a thousand putative QTLs was conducted with MetaQTL software to integrate QTL data from the RIL and 3 backcross populations (from the same parents) and to compare them with the literature. Although the global level of congruence across experiments and populations was generally moderate, the QTL clustering was possible for 30 trait x chromosome combinations (5 traits in 19 different chromosomes) where an effective co-localization of unidirectional (similar sign of additivity) QTLs from at least 5 different data sets was observed. Most consistent meta-clusters were identified for fiber color on chromosomes c6, c8 and c25, fineness on c15, and fiber length on c3.Meta-analysis provided a reliable means of integrating phenotypic and genetic mapping data across multiple populations and environments for complex fiber traits. The consistent chromosomal regions contributing to fiber quality traits constitute good candidates for the further dissection of the genetic and genomic factors underlying important fiber characteristics, and for marker-assisted selection.There are two economically important tetraploid cultivated species of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (also referred to as "Upland" cotton) and G. barbadense (Caribbean "Sea-Island", Extra Long Staple "ELS" and modern "Pima" and "Egyptian" cultivars). They display many complementary agronomic features. G. hirsutum (hereafter Gh), the most widely cultivated species, has higher yield potential than G. barbadense (Gb) in most environments; however, Gb cultivars are superior to Gh in most


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