Association mapping of six yield‑related traits in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)

Theor Appl Genet. 2014 Jan;127(1):85-96. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2203-9.


Yield is one of the most important traits for rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) breeding, but its genetic basis remains largely ambiguous. Association mapping has provided a robust approach to understand the genetic basis of complex agronomic traits in crops. In this study, a panel of 192 inbred lines of B. napus from all over the world was genotyped using 451 single-locus microsatellite markers and 740 amplified fragment length polymorphism markers. Six yield-related traits of these inbred lines were investigated in three consecutive years with three replications, and genome-wide association studies were conducted for these six traits. Using the model controlling both population structure and relative kinship (Q + K), a total of 43 associations (P < 0.001) were detected using the means of the six yield-related traits across 3 years, with two to fourteen markers associated with individual traits. Among these, 18 markers were repeatedly detected in at least 2 years, and 12 markers were located within or close to QTLs identified in previous studies. Six markers commonly associated with correlated traits. Conditional association analysis indicated that five of the associations between markers and correlated traits are caused by one QTL with pleiotropic effects, and the remaining association is caused by linked but independent QTLs. The combination of favorable alleles of multiple associated markers significantly enhances trait performance, illustrating a great potential of utilization of the associations in rapeseed breeding programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis
  • Brassica napus / genetics*
  • Brassica napus / growth & development
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genotype
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Plant Development / genetics