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TitleField evaluation of cotton near-isogenic lines introgressed with QTLs for productivity and drought related traits
AuthorsAvishag Levi, Andrew H. Paterson,
Vered Barak, Dan Yakir, Baohua Wang,
Peng W. Chee, Yehoshua Saranga
PublicationMol Breeding (2009) 23:179-195
AbstractQuantitative trait loci (QTLs) for yield and drought related physiological
traits, osmotic potential (OP), carbon isotope ratio (d13C, an indicator of
water use efficiency), and leaf chlorophyll content (Chl), were exchanged via
marker-assisted selection (MAS) between elite cultivars of the two cotton
species Gossypium barbadense cv. F-177 and G. hirsutum cv. Siv'on. The
resulting near isogenic lines (NILs) were examined in two field trials, each
with two irrigation regimes, in order to (1) evaluate the potential to improve
cotton drought resistance by MAS and (2) test the role of physiological traits
in plant productivity. NILs introgressed with QTLs for high yield rarely
exhibited an advantage in yield relative to the recipient parent, whereas a
considerable number of NILs exhibited the expected phenotype in terms of lower
OP (5 out of 9), higher d13C (4 out of 6) or high Chl (2 out of 3). Several
NILs exhibited considerable modifications in non-targeted traits including leaf
morphology, stomatal conductance and specific leaf weight (SLW). In G.
barbadense genotypes, yield was correlated negatively with d13C and OP and
positively with stomatal conductance, SLW and Chl, whereas in G. hirsutum yield
was negatively correlated with d13C, SLW and Chl. This dissimilarity suggests
that each of the respective species has evolved different mechanisms underlying
plant productivity. We conclude that the improvement of drought related traits
in cotton NILs may lead to improved drought resistance via MAS, but that
conventional breeding may be necessary to combine the introduced QTL(s) with
high yield potential.

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