Genetic mapping and identification of quantitative trait loci for yield and drought tolerance in tea
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Accelerated breeding and selection of improved tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) cultivars requires sound knowledge and understanding of genetics associated with desirable attributes.Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping for yield and drought tolerance in tea was performed using 42 F1 clonal progeny derived from a cross between tea cultivars TRFCA SFS150 and AHP S15/10 that had been established at two distinct tea growing regions in Kenya. The 100 informative markers identified in the cross that exhibited 1:1 segregation ratio were used to construct a linkage map of tea. The map consisted of 30 (19 maternal and 11 paternal) linkage groups that spanned 1411.5 cM with mean interval of 14.7 cM between loci. QTL analysis was carried out for yield and drought tolerance produced nine putative yieldQTLs and 13QTLs for drought tolerance. None of theQTLs was congruently detected in the two sites owing to G x E interactions. Markers OPT-18- 2500 and OPO-02-900 had pleiotropic effects in that they were significantly associated with yield at Timbilil (YLD-T; P = 0.007) and drought tolerance at Kangaita (DT-K; P = 0.003). The implications of the current study with respect to mapping population, G x E and marker-assisted selection are discussed.