Tropical Plant Biology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 18–29 | Cite as

The Sweet Passion Fruit (Passiflora alata) Crop: Genetic and Phenotypic Parameter Estimates and QTL Mapping for Fruit Traits

  • Guilherme da Silva Pereira
  • Larissa Di Cassia Laperuta
  • Endson Santana Nunes
  • Lourdes Chavarría
  • Maria Marta Pastina
  • Rodrigo Gazaffi
  • Isaías Olívio Geraldi
  • Antonio Augusto Franco Garcia
  • Maria Lucia Carneiro Vieira


Despite their economic importance, some tropical crop species are largely neglected when it comes to conducting genetic studies characterizing target traits for breeding. Herein, genetic and phenotypic parameters as well quantitative trait loci (QTL) are described for the first time in a full-sib progeny of sweet passion fruit (Passiflora alata). A hundred F1 individuals were evaluated in two locations for seven fruit traits: diameter of fruit (DF, in mm), length of fruit (LF, in mm), weight of fruit (WF, in g), thickness of fruit skin (TS, in mm), weight of fruit skin (WS, in g), weight of fruit pulp (WP, in g) and soluble solids (SS, in °Brix). Mixed models fitted complex, unstructured genetic variance-covariance matrices for all traits in phenotypic analysis. Because of important genetic correlations among skin and pulp traits, multiplicative index selection to select the most promising individuals was successfully applied. A previously reported integrated map supported composite interval mapping (CIM) analyses. In total, we found 22 QTLs mapped in seven out of nine linkage groups. Heritabilities (from 59.8 % to 82.7 %) and proportion of phenotypic variance explained by the QTLs (from 42.0 % to 64.3 %) were comparable for each trait. Principal component analysis on TS, WS and WP showed that the first two principal components (PCs) accounted for 93.6 % of the total variability. CIM analyses on these two PCs revealed five putative QTLs controlling variation for these three traits simultaneously. Thus, genetic improvement for sweet passion fruit should be based on correlations between traits and QTL-related information can be a useful tool.


Composite interval mapping Genetic parameters Index selection Mixed model Passiflora Tropical fruit species 



Amplified fragment length polymorphism


Akaike information criterion


Bayesian information criterion


Composite interval mapping


Diameter of fruit


Genotype-environment interaction


Length of fruit


Linkage groups


Logarithm of the odds


Multiplicative index


Principal component


Principal component analysis


Quantitative trait loci


Restricted maximum likelihood


Response to selection


Response to selection in percentage


Selection differential


Total soluble solids


Thickness of fruit skin




Weight of fruit


Weight of fruit pulp


Weight of fruit skin



The authors wish to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, Brazil) for its financial support and the fellowships awarded to GSP, MMP and RG. Our thanks also to the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil) for the fellowships awarded to PhD students (ESN and LDCL) and researchers (IOG, AAFG and MLCV). Finally, we would also like to thank Carlos A. de Oliveira for his excellent technical assistance, Mr. H. Borgonove for providing an experimental area on his private farm at Descalvado, Brazil and Mr. Steve Simmons for proofreading the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12042_2016_9181_MOESM1_ESM.tif (848 kb)
Logarithm of the odds ratio (LOD) score profiles of composite interval mapping (CIM) for seven fruit traits in a sweet passion fruit full-sib progeny. LOD score profiles of CIM for the first (PC1) and second (PC2) principal components on TS, WS and WP are also given. Numbers above the peaks indicate QTLs declared based on the threshold (‘thr’) values obtained from permutation for each trait (TIFF 848 kb)
12042_2016_9181_MOESM2_ESM.tif (396 kb)
Biplot of the first (PC1) and second (PC2) principal components on thickness of fruit skin (TS, in mm), weight of fruit skin (WS, in g), and weight of fruit pulp (WP, in g) in a sweet passion fruit full-sib population. Numbers indicate the rank of full-sibs selected by multiplicative index selection; plus signs (+) indicate the remaining (non-selected) full-sibs (TIFF 396 kb)
12042_2016_9181_MOESM3_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 13 kb)
12042_2016_9181_MOESM4_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 4 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guilherme da Silva Pereira
    • 1
  • Larissa Di Cassia Laperuta
    • 1
  • Endson Santana Nunes
    • 1
  • Lourdes Chavarría
    • 1
  • Maria Marta Pastina
    • 2
  • Rodrigo Gazaffi
    • 3
  • Isaías Olívio Geraldi
    • 1
  • Antonio Augusto Franco Garcia
    • 1
  • Maria Lucia Carneiro Vieira
    • 1
  1. 1.Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, Departamento de GenéticaUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Embrapa Milho e SorgoSete LagoasBrazil
  3. 3.Centro de Ciências AgráriasUniversidade Federal de São CarlosArarasBrazil

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