Quantitative genetic analysis of flowering time in tomato

Genome. 2007 Mar;50(3):303-15. doi: 10.1139/g07-009.


Artificial selection of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) has resulted in the generation of early-flowering, day-length-insensitive cultivars, despite its close relationship to other Solanum species that need more time and specific photoperiods to flower. To investigate the genetic mechanisms controlling flowering time in tomato and related species, we performed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for flowering time in an F2 mapping population derived from S. lycopersicum and its late-flowering wild relative S. chmielewskii. Flowering time was scored as the number of days from sowing to the opening of the first flower (days to flowering), and as the number of leaves under the first inflorescence (leaf number). QTL analyses detected 2 QTLs affecting days to flowering, which explained 55.3% of the total phenotypic variance, and 6 QTLs for leaf number, accounting for 66.7% of the corresponding phenotypic variance. Four of the leaf number QTLs had not previously been detected for this trait in tomato. Colocation of some QTLs with flowering-time genes included in the genetic map suggests PHYB2, FALSIFLORA, and a tomato FLC-like sequence as candidate genes that might have been targets of selection during the domestication of tomato.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Flowers / growth & development
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development*
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Solanum / genetics
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Genetic Markers