Publications

Detection of QTLs for genotype × environment interactions in tomato seeds and seedlings

Geshnizjani, Nafiseh; Snoek, Basten L.; Willems, Leo A.J.; Rienstra, Juriaan A.; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk W.M.; Ligterink, Wilco

Summary

Seed quality and seedling establishment are the most important factors affecting successful crop development. They depend on the genetic background and are acquired during seed maturation and therefor, affected by the maternal environment under which the seeds develop. There is little knowledge about the genetic and environmental factors that affect seed quality and seedling establishment. The aim of this study is to identify the loci and possible molecular mechanisms involved in acquisition of seed quality and how these are controlled by adverse maternal conditions. For this, we used a tomato recombinant inbred line (RIL) population consisting of 100 lines which were grown under two different nutritional environmental conditions, high phosphate and low nitrate. Most of the seed germination traits such as maximum germination percentage (Gmax), germination rate (t50) and uniformity (U8416) showed ample variation between genotypes and under different germination conditions. This phenotypic variation leads to identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) which were dependent on genetic factors, but also on the interaction with the maternal environment (QTL × E). Further studies of these QTLs may ultimately help to predict the effect of different maternal environmental conditions on seed quality and seedling establishment which will be very useful to improve the production of high-performance seeds.