Delineation of interspecific epistasis on fiber quality traits in Gossypium hirsutum by ADAA analysis of intermated G. barbadense chromosome substitution lines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetic diversity is the foundation of any crop improvement program, but the most cultivated Upland cotton [Gossypium hirsutum L., 2n = 52, genomic formula 2(AD)(1)] has a very narrow gene pool resulting from its evolutionary origin and domestication history. Cultivars of this cotton species (G. hirsutum L.) are prized for their combination of exceptional yield, other agronomic traits, and good fiber properties, whereas the other cultivated 52-chromosome species, G. barbadense L. [2n = 52, genomic formula 2(AD)(2)], is widely regarded as having the opposite attributes. It has exceptionally good fiber qualities, but generally lower yield and less desirable agronomic traits. Breeders have long aspired to combine the best attributes of G. hirsutum and G. barbadense, but have had limited success. F(1) hybrids are readily created and largely fertile, so the limited success may be due to cryptic biological and technical challenges associated with the conventional methods of interspecific introgression. We have developed a complementary alternative approach for introgression based on chromosome substitution line, followed by increasingly sophisticated genetic analyses of chromosome-derived families to describe the inheritance and breeding values of the chromosome substitution lines. Here, we analyze fiber quality traits of progeny families from a partial diallel crossing scheme among selected chromosome substitution lines (CS-B lines). The results provide a more detailed and precise QTL dissection of fiber traits, and an opportunity to examine allelic interaction effects between two substituted chromosomes versus one substituted chromosome. This approach creates new germplasm based on pair wise combinations of quasi-isogenic chromosome substitutions. The relative genetic simplicity of two-chromosome interactions departs significantly from complex or RIL-based populations, in which huge numbers of loci are segregating in all 26 chromosome pairs. Data were analyzed according to the ADAA genetic model, which revealed significant additive, dominance, and additive-by-additive epistasis effects on all of the fiber quality traits associated with the substituted chromosome or chromosome arm of CS-B lines. Fiber of line 3-79, the donor parent for the substituted chromosomes, had the highest Upper Half Mean length (UHM), uniformity ratio, strength, elongation, and lowest micronaire among all parents and hybrids. CS-B16 and CS-B25 had significant additive effects for all fiber traits. Assuming a uniform genetic background of the CS-B lines, the comparative analysis of the double-heterozygous hybrid combinations (CS-B CS-B) versus their respective single heterozygous combinations (CS-B TM-1) demonstrated that interspecific epistatic effects between the genes in the chromosomes played a major role in most of the fiber quality traits. Results showed that fiber of several hybrids including CS-B16 CS-B22Lo, CS-B16 CS-B25 and CS-B16 TM-1 had significantly greater dominance effects for elongation and hybrid CS-B16 CS-B17 had higher fiber strength than their parental lines. Multiple antagonistic genetic effects were also present for fiber quality traits associated with most of the substituted chromosomes and chromosome arms. Results from this study highlight the vital importance of epistasis in fiber quality traits and detected novel effects of some cryptic beneficial alleles affecting fiber quality on the 3-79 chromosomes, whose effects were not detected in the 3-79 parental lines.

published proceedings

  • Theor Appl Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Saha, S., Wu, J., Jenkins, J. N., McCarty, J. C., Hayes, R., & Stelly, D. M.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Saha, S||Wu, J||Jenkins, JN||McCarty, JC||Hayes, R||Stelly, DM

publication date

  • May 2011