A central question in biology is how genes control the expression of quantitative variation. We used statistical methods to estimate genetic variation in eight Arabidopsis thaliana floral characters (fresh flower mass, petal length, petal width, sepal length, sepal width, long stamen length, short stamen length, and pistil length) in a cosmopolitan sample of 15 ecotypes. In addition, we used genome-wide quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping to evaluate the genetic basis of variation in these same traits in the Landsberg erecta X Columbia recombinant inbred line population. There was significant genetic variation for all traits in both the sample of naturally occurring ecotypes and in the Let X Col recombinant inbred line population. In addition, broad-sense genetic correlations among the traits were positive and high. A composite interval mapping (CIM) analysis detected 18 significant QTL affecting at least one floral character. Eleven QTL were associated with several floral traits, supporting either pleiotropy or tight linkage as major determinants of flower morphological integration. We propose several candidate genes that may underlie these QTL on the basis of positional information and functional arguments. Genomewide QTL mapping is a promising tool for the discovery of candidate genes controlling morphological development, the detection of novel phenotypic effects for known genes, and in generating a more complete understanding of the genetic basis of floral development.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas