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Multiparental Mapping of Plant Height and Flowering Time QTL in Partially Isogenic Sorghum Families


Sorghum varieties suitable for grain production at temperate latitudes show dwarfism and photoperiod insensitivity, both of which are controlled by a small number of loci with large effects. We studied the genetic control of plant height and flowering time in five sorghum families (A-E), each derived from a cross between a tropical line and a partially isogenic line carrying introgressions derived from a common, temperate-adapted donor. A total of 724 F2:3 lines were phenotyped in temperate and tropical environments for plant height and flowering time and scored at 9139 SNPs using genotyping-by-sequencing. Biparental mapping was compared with multiparental mapping in different subsets of families (AB, ABC, ABCD, and ABCDE) using both a GWAS approach, which fit each QTL as a single effect across all families, and using a joint linkage approach, which fit QTL effects as nested within families. GWAS using all families (ABCDE) performed best at the cloned Dw3 locus, whereas joint linkage using all families performed best at the cloned Ma1 locus. Both multiparental approaches yielded apparently synthetic associations due to genetic heterogeneity and were highly dependent on the subset of families used. Comparison of all mapping approaches suggests that a GA2-oxidase underlies Dw1, and that a mir172a gene underlies a Dw1-linked flowering time QTL.

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