Mapping of Candidate Genes Involved in Bud Dormancy and Flowering Time in Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)
The timing of flowering in perennial plants is crucial for their survival in temperate climates and is regulated by the duration of bud dormancy. Bud dormancy release and bud break depend on the perception of cumulative chilling during endodormancy and heat during the bud development. The objectives of this work were to identify candidate genes involved in dormancy and flowering processes in sweet cherry, their mapping in two mapping progenies 'Regina' × 'Garnet' and 'Regina' × 'Lapins', and to select those candidate genes which co-localized with quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with temperature requirements for bud dormancy release and flowering. Based on available data on flowering processes in various species, a list of 79 candidate genes was established. The peach and sweet cherry orthologs were identified and primers were designed to amplify sweet cherry candidate gene fragments. Based on the amplified sequences of the three parents of the mapping progenies, SNPs segregations in the progenies were identified. Thirty five candidate genes were genetically mapped in at least one of the two progenies and all were in silico mapped. Co-localization between candidate genes and QTLs associated with temperature requirements and flowering date were identified for the first time in sweet cherry. The allelic composition of the candidate genes located in the major QTL for heat requirements and flowering date located on linkage group 4 have a significant effect on these two traits indicating their potential use for breeding programs in sweet cherry to select new varieties adapted to putative future climatic conditions.
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