Individual and multi-environment combined analyses identify QTLs for morphogenetic and reproductive development traits in white clover (Trifolium repens L.)

Theor Appl Genet. 2006 May;112(8):1401-15. doi: 10.1007/s00122-006-0241-2. Epub 2006 Apr 20.


White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is a key component legume of temperate pasture agriculture and an important target for molecular marker-assisted plant breeding. A genetic map of white clover has been used to assess genetic control of agronomically important traits that vary in the F2(I.4RxI.5J) mapping family. Phenotypic analysis was performed for a range of vegetative morphogenesis traits (such as leaf area, internode length, plant height and plant spread) and reproductive morphogenesis and development traits (such as flowering date, floral intensity and seed yield), with both spatial and temporal replication. A multi-environment combined analysis (combined analysis) has been performed for traits assessed across multiple experimental datasets in order to identify consistent genetic effects. Quantitative trait locus (QTLs) were detected for the majority of traits, and the locations and magnitudes of QTL effects were compared between individual and combined analyses. This molecular genetic dissection of agronomic traits in white clover provides the basis for equivalent studies in more complex populations, design of marker-assisted selection strategies and comparative genetics with model legume species. Selection for QTLs derived from the combined analysis will permit robust improvement of phenotypic traits over different environments.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics
  • Environment
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Reproduction / genetics*
  • Trifolium / genetics*