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High-resolution mapping of a major effect QTL from wild tomato Solanum habrochaites that influences water relations under root chilling


QTL stm9 controlling rapid-onset water stress tolerance in S. habrochaites was high-resolution mapped to a chromosome 9 region that contains genes associated with abiotic stress tolerances. Wild tomato (Solanum habrochaites) exhibits tolerance to abiotic stresses, including drought and chilling. Root chilling (6 °C) induces rapid-onset water stress by impeding water movement from roots to shoots. S. habrochaites responds to such changes by closing stomata and maintaining shoot turgor, while cultivated tomato (S. lycopersicum) fails to close stomata and wilts. This response (shoot turgor maintenance under root chilling) is controlled by a major QTL (designated stm9) on chromosome 9, which was previously fine-mapped to a 2.7-cM region. Recombinant sub-near-isogenic lines for chromosome 9 were marker-selected, phenotyped for shoot turgor maintenance under root chilling in two sets of replicated experiments (Fall and Spring), and the data were used to high-resolution map QTL stm9 to a 0.32-cM region. QTL mapping revealed a single QTL that was coincident for both the Spring and Fall datasets, suggesting that the gene or genes contributing to shoot turgor maintenance under root chilling reside within the marker interval H9-T1673. In the S. lycopersicum reference genome sequence, this chromosome 9 region is gene-rich and contains representatives of gene families that have been associated with abiotic stress tolerance.

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