Two tightly linked QTLs modify tomato sugar content via different physiological pathways

Mol Genet Genomics. 2002 Jan;266(5):821-6. doi: 10.1007/s00438-001-0599-4. Epub 2001 Oct 25.


Congenic lines that differ in a single defined chromosome segment are useful for the study of complex phenotypes, as they allow isolation of the effect of a particular quantitative trait locus (QTL) from those of the entire genome. We conducted high-resolution QTL mapping of a 9-cM introgression, originating from the wild tomato species Lycopersicon pennellii, in two extremely different genetic and physiological backgrounds. In the "indeterminate" glasshouse background we identified only a single QTL ( Brix9-2-5) that affects the total soluble solids of the fruit [mainly sugars, measured in Brix units (B)]. This QTL was previously delimited within the gene for an apoplastic invertase, Lin5, that modulates sugar partitioning to the fruit. Analysis of the effects of the same chromosome segment in "determinate", open-field tomatoes, revealed two QTLs, 0.3 cM apart: the fruit-specific Brix9-2-5 that affects B only, and the shoot-specific PW9-2-5, which accounts for an altered growth habit resulting in increases in plant weight, yield, and B. This study highlights the power of the congenic approach for dissecting developmental pathways leading to complex phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Plant
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*


  • DNA, Plant