Mapping of QTLs for lycopene and other fruit traits in a Lycopersicon esculentum x L. pimpinellifolium cross and comparison of QTLs across tomato species

F. Q. Chen, M. R. Foolad, J. Hyman, D. A. St. Clair, R. B. Beelaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for several fruit traits in tomato were mapped and characterized in a backcross population of an interspecific cross between Lycopersicon esculentum fresh-marker breeding line NC84173 and L. pimpinellifolium accession LA722. A molecular linkage map of this cross that was previously constructed based on 119 BC1 individuals and 151 RFLP markers was used for the QTL mapping. The parental lines and 119 BC1S1 families (self-pollinated progeny of BC1 individuals) were grown under field conditions at two locations, Rock Spring, PA, and Davis, CA, and fruits were scored for weight (FW), polar (PD) and equatorial diameters (ED), shape (FS), total soluble solids content (SSC), pH and lycopene content (LYC). For each trait, between 4 and 10 QTLs were identified with individual effects ranging between 4.4% and 32.9% and multilocus QTL effects ranging between 39% and 75% of the total phenotypic variation. Most QTL effects were predictable from the parental phenotypes, and several QTLs were identified that affected more than one trait. A few pairwise epistatic interactions were detected between QTL-linked and QTL-unlinked markers. Despite great differences between PA and CA growing conditions, the majority of FW QTLs (78%) and SSC QTLs (75%) in the two locations shared similar genomic positions. Almost all of the QTLs that were identified in the present study for FW and SSC were previously identified in six other studies that used different interspecific crosses of tomato; this indicates conservation of QTLs for fruit traits across tomato species. Altogether, the seven studies identified at least 28 QTLs for FW and 32 QTLs for SSC on the 12 tomato chromosomes. However, for each trait a few major QTLs were commonly identified in 4 or more studies; such 'popular' QTLs should be of considerable interest for breeding purposes as well as basic research towards cloning of QTLs. Notably, a majority of QTLs for increased SSC also contributed to decreased fruit size. Therefore, to significantly increase SSC of the cultivated tomato, some compromise in fruit size may be unavoidable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-299
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science


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