Dissection of chilling requirement and bloom date QTLs in peach using a whole genome sequencing of sibling trees from an F2 mapping population
Chilling requirement (CR) for floral bud dormancy release is one of the major limiting factors for geographical adaptation of fruiting trees. Using a whole genome sequencing approach (Illumina platform), we explored polymorphism underlying phenotypic differences among individuals in a peach F cross segregating for chilling requirement and bloom date. Allelic configuration of individuals, which represented phenotypic extremes in the cross (300 vs. 1,100 chill hours) allowed reconstruction of low- and high-chill haplotypes within three most significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) intervals on the Prunus G1, G4, and G7. We detected single nucleotide polymorphic sites (SNPs), small deletions and insertions (DIPs), and large structural variants (SVs) associated with low-chill haplotypes and created a prioritized list of candidate genes based on functionally characterized homologs from Arabidopsis thaliana. Two dormancy associated genes PpeDAM5 and PpeDAM6 are the strongest candidate genes for the major QTL signal at the lower end of G1. Also, key functional genes involved in the Polycomb repressive mechanism, cell cycle progression, and hormone regulation were evident as strong candidate genes underlying QTL intervals in this peach cross.
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