Background: Aflatoxin contamination caused by Aspergillus flavus is a major constraint to peanut industry worldwide due to its toxicological effects to human and animals. Developing peanut varieties with resistance to seed infection and/or aflatoxin accumulation is the most effective and economic strategy for reducing aflatoxin risk in food chain. Breeding for resistance to aflatoxin in peanut is a challenging task for breeders because the genetic basis is still poorly understood. To identify the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for resistance to aflatoxin contamination in peanut, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population was developed from crossing Zhonghua 10 (susceptible) with ICG 12625 (resistant). The percent seed infection index (PSII), the contents of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and aflatoxin B2 (AFB2) of RILs were evaluated by a laboratory kernel inoculation assay.
Results: Two QTLs were identified for PSII including one major QTL with 11.32-13.00% phenotypic variance explained (PVE). A total of 12 QTLs for aflatoxin accumulation were detected by unconditional analysis, and four of them (qAFB1A07 and qAFB1B06.1 for AFB1, qAFB2A07 and qAFB2B06 for AFB2) exhibited major and stable effects across multiple environments with 9.32-21.02% PVE. Furthermore, not only qAFB1A07 and qAFB2A07 were co-localized in the same genetic interval on LG A07, but qAFB1B06.1 was also co-localized with qAFB2B06 on LG B06. Conditional QTL mapping also confirmed that there was a strong interaction between resistance to AFB1 and AFB2 accumulation. Genotyping of RILs revealed that qAFB1A07 and qAFB1B06.1 interacted additively to improve the resistance to both AFB1 and AFB2 accumulation. Additionally, validation of the two markers was performed in diversified germplasm collection and four accessions with resistance to aflatoxin accumulation were identified.
Conclusions: Single major QTL for resistance to PSII and two important co-localized intervals associated with major QTLs for resistance to AFB1 and AFB2. Combination of these intervals could improve the resistance to aflatoxin accumulation in peanut. SSR markers linked to these intervals were identified and validated. The identified QTLs and associated markers exhibit potential to be applied in improvement of resistance to aflatoxin contamination.
Keywords: Aflatoxin; Aspergillus flavus; Diagnostic marker; Peanut; QTL; Resistance.