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The genetic basis of seed-weight variation: tomato as a model system

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Abstract 

The seeds of domesticated plants are normally much larger than those of their wild counterparts. This change in seed weight was most likely in response to the selection pressure for yield, uniform germination and seedling vigor which was exerted by humans during domestication. However, despite the evolutionary and agronomic significance of seed weight, very little is know about the genetic and developmental controls of this trait; and, thus far, none of the genes in this pathway have been isolated from any plant species. QTL mapping experiments conducted in tomato during the past decade have allowed the identification of many seed-weight QTLs and have also revealed that only a few loci are responsible for the majority of the seed-weight changes that accompanied the domestication of tomato. This review presents a consensus map for seed weight QTL identified in previously published reports and in unpublished results from our laboratory. This summary of seed-weight QTL data allows for the identification of the major loci controlling this trait in the genus Lycopersicon. It is hoped that this work will allow the elucidation of this important phenotypic transition that occurred during crop-plant domestication and will also provide the starting point for the cloning of a gene responsible for seed-weight variation.

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Received: 21 April 1999 / Accepted: 13 October 1999

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Doganlar, S., Frary, A. & Tanksley, S. The genetic basis of seed-weight variation: tomato as a model system. Theor Appl Genet 100, 1267–1273 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001220051433

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  • Keywords Domestication
  • Evolution
  • QTL
  • Map-based cloning
  • Lycopersicon esculentum