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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Map QTL for Dwarf Architecture in Oilseed Rape

August 24, 2016

Although there have been many achievements in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) breeding, searching for new materials conferring efficient plant types and higher yields is still important. The team of Yankun Wang, Wenjing Chen and Pu Chu from Nanjing Agricultural University in China studied a new dwarf architecture with down-curved leaf mutant, Bndwf/dcl1. The mutant was isolated from an ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS)-mutagenized B. napus line.

The team constructed a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) map using a backcross population from the Bndwf/dcl1 mutant and the canola cultivar ‘zhongshuang11' (ZS11). Using this, they mapped the dwarf architecture with the down-curved leaf dominant locus, BnDWF/DCL1. Further mapping with other materials derived from Bndwf/dcl1 narrowed the interval harboring BnDWF/DCL1 to 175 kb, where the 16 annotated genes were located. Further quantitative trait locus mappings also indicated that the mapped QTLs for plant type traits were also located in the same position as the BnDWF/DCL1 locus.

The results suggest that the BnDWF/DCL1 locus is a major pleiotropic locus/QTL in B. napus, which may reduce plant height, alter plant type traits and change leaf shape, and may result in compact plant phenotype. This locus could potentially be used for increasing plant density.

For more on the study, read the full article in BMC Plant Biology.