Plant Biol (Stuttg) 2004; 6(4): 440-446
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-817958
Original Paper

Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart KG · New York

QTL Mapping for a Trade-Off between Leaf and Bud Production in a Recombinant Inbred Population of Microseris douglasii and M. bigelovii (Asteraceae, Lactuceae): A Potential Preadaptation for the Colonization of Serpentine Soils

O. Gailing1 , M. R. Macnair2 , K. Bachmann3
  • 1Institute of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Georg August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Hatherly Laboratories, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 6EZ, UK
  • 3Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK-Gatersleben), Corrensstraße 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 July 2004 (online)


The different response to growth on serpentine soil is a major autecological difference between the annual asteracean species Microseris douglasii and M. bigelovii, with nearly non-overlapping distribution ranges in California. Early flowering and seed set is regarded as a crucial character contributing to escape drought and thus is strongly correlated with survival and reproductive success on serpentine as naturally toxic soil. M. bigelovii (strain C94) from non-serpentine soil produces more leaves at the expense of bud production in the first growing phase than M. douglasii (B14) from serpentine soil. A QTL mapping study for this trade-off and for other growth-related traits was performed after six generations of inbreeding (F7) from a single interspecific hybrid between B14 and C94 on plants that were grown on serpentine and alternatively on normal potting soil. The trade-off is mainly correlated with markers on one map region on linkage group 03a (lg03a) with major phenotypic effects (phenotypic variance explained [PVE] = 18.8 - 31.7 %). Plants with the M. douglasii allele in QTL-B1 (QTL-NL1) produce more buds but fewer leaves in the first 119 days on both soil types. Three modifier QTL could be mapped for bud and leaf production. In one modifier (QTL-B2 = QTL-NL4) the M. douglasii allele is again associated with more buds but fewer leaves. QTL mapped for bud set in the F6 co-localize with QTL-B1 (major QTL) and QTL-B3. Two additional QTL for leaf length and red coloration of leaves could be mapped to one map region on lg03a. Co-localization of the two QTL loci with major phenotypic effects on bud and leaf production strongly suggests that a major genetic locus controls the trade-off between the two adaptive traits. The importance of mutational changes in major genes for the adaptation to stressful environments is discussed.


O. Gailing

Institute of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding
Georg August University Göttingen

Büsgenweg 2

37077 Göttingen



Section Editor: F. Salamini