Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping of Winter Hardiness Metabolites in Autotetraploid Alfalfa (M. sativa)

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Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf, Page: 97-104

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Zúñiga, B. Alarcón; Scott, P.; Moore, K. J.; Luth, D.; Brummer, E. C.
alfalfa; winter hardiness; metabolites; QTL mapping
conference paper description
In winter hardy alfalfa cultivars, cold acclimation occurs prior to the onset of freezing temperatures and normally is accompanied with a series of metabolic and morphological adjustments. We are studying the accumulation pattern of metabolites throughout the autumn previous to freezing and relating them to winter survival in an Fl segregating population between the cross of M. sativa subsp. sativa and subsp. falcata. Morphological components and soluble carbohydrates, protein, amino-N groups, and free fatty acids were measured in 2001 and 2002 in the field. Broad sense heritability was intermediate for shoot and root mass and height, and for metabolites, ranged from low (TNC=0.04) to high (starch=0.80). The genetic correlation between winter injury was not significant for most of the metabolites, except for soluble protein and amino-N group concentrations. The presence of allele al of MSAIC B, a cold-related gene, was positively associated with autumn plant height but negatively associated with root mass in the WISFAL-6 parent. Numerous QTL were detected for concentrations of metabolites. Our results suggest that winter injury and autumn biomass are controlled by different loci in this population.