The quantitative-genetic and QTL architecture of trait integration and modularity in Brassica rapa across simulated seasonal settings

Heredity (Edinb). 2011 Apr;106(4):661-77. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2010.103. Epub 2010 Aug 25.


Within organisms, groups of traits with different functions are frequently modular, such that variation among modules is independent and variation within modules is tightly integrated, or correlated. Here, we investigated patterns of trait integration and modularity in Brassica rapa in response to three simulated seasonal temperature/photoperiod conditions. The goals of this research were to use trait correlations to understand patterns of trait integration and modularity within and among floral, vegetative and phenological traits of B. rapa in each of three treatments, to examine the QTL architecture underlying patterns of trait integration and modularity, and to quantify how variation in temperature and photoperiod affects the correlation structure and QTL architecture of traits. All floral organs of B. rapa were strongly correlated, and contrary to expectations, floral and vegetative traits were also correlated. Extensive QTL co-localization suggests that covariation of these traits is likely due to pleiotropy, although physically linked loci that independently affect individual traits cannot be ruled out. Across treatments, the structure of genotypic and QTL correlations was generally conserved. Any observed variation in genetic architecture arose from genotype × environment interactions (GEIs) and attendant QTL × E in response to temperature but not photoperiod.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brassica rapa / genetics*
  • Brassica rapa / radiation effects
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environment
  • Genotype
  • Light
  • Phenotype
  • Photoperiod
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Seasons