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Crop Biotech Update

Mapping of a Gene Conferring Orange Color on the Inner Leaf of the Chinese Cabbage

February 4, 2011

Carotenoids in plants are important in human nutrition and health especially in the conversion of vitamin A, resistance to oxidation, and prevention of cancers. Previous studies have shown that the orange inner leaf of Chinese cabbage is controlled by a single recessive gene (or), which causes abnormal building up of carotene. Scientist Hui Feng of the Shenyang Agricultural University in China and colleagues used 600 individuals of an F2 population to map the or gene and develop markers related to this gene.

Based on the linkage analysis conducted, the gene was mapped in a region covering a total interval of 4.6 centimorgans (cM) between two microsatellite markers coming from bacterial artificial chromosome clones. Two morphological markers were obtained through visual determination and screening of the variation in the morphological characters between parents and the two segregated F2 populations. These markers are labeled as or-f (orange flower) and or-c (orange cotyledon). The scientists suggest that these two markers co-segregate with the orange inner leaf trait or are determined by the same gene. These markers could be used for marker-assisted selection in Chinese cabbage hybrid breeding programs.

For more information, read the article published by the Molecular Breeding journal at http://www.springerlink.com/content/m7h143253613q00l/.