Identification of Candidate Genes for Lint Percentage and Fiber Quality Through QTL Mapping and Transcriptome Analysis in an Allotetraploid Interspecific Cotton CSSLs Population

Front Plant Sci. 2022 Apr 29;13:882051. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.882051. eCollection 2022.


Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) has long been an important fiber crop, but the narrow genetic diversity of modern G. hirsutum limits the potential for simultaneous improvement of yield and fiber quality. It is an effective approach to broaden the genetic base of G. hirsutum through introgression of novel alleles from G. barbadense with excellent fiber quality. In the present study, an interspecific chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) population was established using G. barbadense cultivar Pima S-7 as the donor parent and G. hirsutum cultivar CCRI35 as the recipient parent. A total of 105 quantitative trait loci (QTL), including 85 QTL for fiber quality and 20 QTL for lint percentage (LP), were identified based on phenotypic data collected from four environments. Among these QTL, 25 stable QTL were detected in two or more environments, including four for LP, eleven for fiber length (FL), three for fiber strength (FS), six for fiber micronaire (FM), and one for fiber elongation (FE). Eleven QTL clusters were observed on nine chromosomes, of which seven QTL clusters harbored stable QTL. Moreover, eleven major QTL for fiber quality were verified through analysis of introgressed segments of the eight superior lines with the best comprehensive phenotypes. A total of 586 putative candidate genes were identified for 25 stable QTL associated with lint percentage and fiber quality through transcriptome analysis. Furthermore, three candidate genes for FL, GH_A08G1681 (GhSCPL40), GH_A12G2328 (GhPBL19), and GH_D02G0370 (GhHSP22.7), and one candidate gene for FM, GH_D05G1346 (GhAPG), were identified through RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR analysis. These results lay the foundation for understanding the molecular regulatory mechanism of fiber development and provide valuable information for marker-assisted selection (MAS) in cotton breeding.

Keywords: Gossypium barbadense; chromosome segment substitution lines; fiber quality; lint percentage; quantitative trait loci; transcriptome.