Comparison of QTLs for seed germination under non-stress, cold stress and salt stress in tomato

M. R. Foolad, G. Y. Lin, F. Q. Chen

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55 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine whether rate of tomato seed germination under non-stress, cold-stress and salt-stress conditions was under similar genetic control by identifying and comparing quantitative trait loci (QTLs) which affect germination rate under these conditions. A fast-germinating accession (LA722) of the wild tomato species Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium Jusl. and a slow-germinating cultivar (NC84173, maternal and recurrent parent) of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were hybridized and BC1 and BC1S1 progeny produced. The BC1 population was used to construct a linkage map with 151 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers. The BC1S1 population (consisting of 119 BC1S1 families) was evaluated for germination under non-stress (control), cold-stress and salt-stress conditions and the mean time to 50% germination (T50) in each treatment was determined. Germination analyses indicated the presence of significant (P<0.01) phenotypic correlations between T50 under control and cold stress (r = 0.71), control and salt stress (r = 0.58) and cold stress and salt stress (r = 0.67). The QTL analysis indicated the presence of genetic relationships between germination under these three conditions: a few QTLs were identified which commonly affected germination under both stress- (cold-, salt- or both) and non-stress conditions, and thus were called stress-nonspecific QTLs. A few QTLs were also identified which affected germination only under cold or salt stress and thus were called stress-specific QTLs. However, the stress-nonspecific QTLs generally exhibited larger individual effects and together accounted for a greater portion of the total phenotypic variation under each condition than the stress-specific QTLs. Whether the effects of stress-nonspecific QTLs were due to pleiotropic effects of the same genes, physical linkage of different genes, or a combination of both could not be determined in this study. The results, however, indicate that the rate of tomato seed germination under different stress and non-stress conditions is partly under the same genetic control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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