Association Mapping for Fruit, Plant and Leaf Morphology Traits in Eggplant

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 18;10(8):e0135200. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135200. eCollection 2015.


An eggplant (Solanum melongena) association panel of 191 accessions, comprising a mixture of breeding lines, old varieties and landrace selections was SNP genotyped and phenotyped for key breeding fruit and plant traits at two locations over two seasons. A genome-wide association (GWA) analysis was performed using the mixed linear model, which takes into account both a kinship matrix and the sub-population membership of the accessions. Overall, 194 phenotype/genotype associations were uncovered, relating to 30 of the 33 measured traits. These associations involved 79 SNP loci mapping to 39 distinct chromosomal regions distributed over all 12 eggplant chromosomes. A comparison of the map positions of these SNPs with those of loci derived from conventional linkage mapping showed that GWA analysis both validated many of the known controlling loci and detected a large number of new marker/trait associations. Exploiting established syntenic relationships between eggplant chromosomes and those of tomato and pepper recognized orthologous regions in ten eggplant chromosomes harbouring genes influencing breeders' traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breeding
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Genomics
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Solanum melongena / genetics*
  • Synteny

Grants and funding

This research was partially supported by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Alimentary and Forest Politics in the framework of the “ESPLORA” project. No additional external funding was received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.