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Conference abstract2010Peer reviewed

Quantitative Trait Loci analysis of traits related to biomass production in willow (Salix spp.)

Ghelardini, L.; Berlin Kolm, S.; Bonosi, L.; Rönnberg-Wästljung, A.C.; Weih, M.


Willow trees (Salix spp.) have received increasing attention during the last decades for the purpose of bio-energy production in Europe. Willows are especially suitable for biomass production by short rotation cultivation because of their fast growth and high capacity to resprout after coppicing. However, achieving high biomass yields with relatively low inputs of energy requires development of high-yielding cultivars both suitable for plantation in different environments and efficient in the use of available resources. Selection and breeding of biomass willows would largely benefit from the use of easily detectable genetic markers linked to genes underlying economically important traits. In this study we present the results of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis performed on several traits that are important determinants of biomass production and promising targets for the breeding of biomass willows. We mapped QTLs for growth, resource-economy-related traits such as biomass allocation, water use efficiency, leaf area efficiency, leaf nitrogen content and leaf nitrogen efficiency, and phenology traits such as timing of bud burst, growth cessation, and leaf senescence, in an experimental cross of Salix viminalis L. and Salix schwerinii E. Wolf . In the QTL analysis we used a dense genetic linkage map that we have constructed for the same population. The map was built using SNP markers located within genes evenly distributed throughout the Populus trichocarpa genome and it is thus aligned to the poplar physical map. We found high degree of synteny and gene order conservation between the genomes of willow and poplar. The use of the map aligned to the poplar genome allowed us to search for annotated genes the regions of the poplar genome corresponding to the QTLs found in Salix and to identify candidate genes putatively involved in the control of these traits


willow; genetic map; QTL; molecular markers; growth; phenology; resource- economy traits

Published in

Title: Fifth International Poplar Symposium : Poplars and willows: from research models to multipurpose trees for a bio-based society : book of abstracts

Publisher: IUFRO


Fifth International Poplar Symposium : Poplars and willows: from research models to multipurpose trees for a bio-based society