Molecular Breeding

, 36:52 | Cite as

QTL analysis and the development of closely linked markers for days to flowering in spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)

  • Haidong Liu
  • Dezhi Du
  • Shaomin Guo
  • Lu Xiao
  • Zhigang Zhao
  • Zhi Zhao
  • Xiaorong Xing
  • Guoyong Tang
  • Liang Xu
  • Zhong Fu
  • Yanmei Yao
  • Robert W. Duncan


Days to flowering (DTF) is an important trait impacting cultivar performance in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), but the interaction of all loci controlling this trait in spring-type oilseed rape is not fully understood. We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for variation in DTF in a doubled haploid (DH) population from the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau that includes 217 lines derived from a cross between spring-type oilseed rape (B. napus L.) line No. 5246 and line No. 4512, the latter of which is responsive to the effective accumulated temperature (EAT). A linkage map was constructed for the DH population, using 202 SSR and 293 AFLP markers. At least 22 DTF QTL were found in multiple environments. Four major QTL were located on linkage groups A7, C2, C8 and C8. Among these QTL, cqDTFA7a and cqDTFC2a were identified in five environments and individually explained 10.4 and 23.0 % of the trait variation, respectively. cqDTFC8, a major QTL observed in spring environments, and a unique winter environment QTL, qDTFC8-3, were identified; these QTL explained 10.0 and 46.5 % of the phenotypic variation, respectively. Minor QTL (for example, cqDTFC2c) and epistatic interactions seemed evident in this population. Two closely linked SSR markers for cqDTFA7a and cqDTFC8 were developed (G1803 and S034). BnAP1, a B. napus gene with homology to Arabidopsis thaliana that was identified as a cqDTFA7a candidate gene, played a major role in this study. The allelic effects of the major and minor QTL on DTF were further validated in the DH population and in 93 breeding genotypes.


Spring Brassica napus L. Doubled haploid lines Days to flowering QTL analysis Molecular markers 



The authors thank Prof. Ruisheng Wang, Mr. Jianshe Qin and Mr. Jianrong Lin for providing help with field management. The authors also thank Dr. Jun Zou (HAU China) for assistance with data analysis. Financial support for this study was provided by the National System of Technology of the Rapeseed Industry (CARS-13), the “973” Program Early Research Project (2012CB723007), the “863” High-tech Program (2011AA10A104) and the National Science and Technology Support Program (2010BD01B03).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interests that represent a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.

Ethical approval

This article does not describe any studies involving human participants or animals.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haidong Liu
    • 1
  • Dezhi Du
    • 1
  • Shaomin Guo
    • 1
  • Lu Xiao
    • 1
  • Zhigang Zhao
    • 1
  • Zhi Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiaorong Xing
    • 1
  • Guoyong Tang
    • 1
  • Liang Xu
    • 1
  • Zhong Fu
    • 1
  • Yanmei Yao
    • 1
  • Robert W. Duncan
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Spring Rapeseed Genetic Improvement, National Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Innovation and Utilization of Plateau Crop Germplasm, Qinghai Academy of Agricultural and Forestry SciencesQinghai UniversityXiningChina
  2. 2.Department of Plant ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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