Identification of QTLs for pod and kernel traits in cultivated peanut by bulked segregant analysis
Bulked segregant analysis was used to identify simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers associated with pod and kernel traits in cultivated peanut, to permit rapid selection of superior quality genotypes in the breeding program. SSR markers linked to pod and kernel traits were identified in two DNA pools (high and low), which were established using selected F2:6 recombinant individuals resulting from a cultivated cross between a runner (Tamrun OL01) and a Spanish (BSS 56) peanut. To identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for pod and kernel-related traits, parents were screened initially with 112 SSR primer pairs. The survey revealed 8.9% polymorphism between parents. Of ten SSR primer pairs distinguishing the parents, five (PM375, PM36, PM45, pPGPseq8D9, and Ah-041) were associated with differences between bulks for seed length, pod length, number of pods per plant, 100-seed weight, maturity, or oil content. Association was confirmed by analysis of segregation among 88 F2:6 individuals in the RIL population. Phenotypic means associated with markers for three traits differed by more than 40%, indicating the presence of QTLs with major effects for number of pods per plant, plant weight, and pod maturity. The SSR markers can be used for marker assisted selection for quality and yield improvement in peanut. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the identification of SSR markers linked to pod - and kernel- related traits in cultivated peanut.