Construction of a single nucleotide polymorphism linkage map and identification of quantitative trait loci controlling heat tolerance in cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. Academic Article uri icon


  • Plant tolerance to heat or high temperature is crucial to crop production, especially in the situation of elevated temperature resulting from global climate change. Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., is an internationally important legume food crop and an excellent pool of genes for numerous traits resilient to environmental extremes, particularly heat and drought. Here, we report a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic map for cowpea and identification of the loci controlling the heat tolerance in the species. The SNP map consists of 531 bins containing 4,154 SNPs grouped into 11 linkage groups, and collectively spans 1,084.7cM, thus having a density of one SNP in 0.26cM or 149kb. The 11 linkage groups of the map were aligned to the 11 cowpea chromosomes. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified nine QTLs responsible for the cowpea heat tolerance on seven of the 11 chromosomes, with each QTL explaining 6.5-21.8% of heat tolerance phenotypic variation. Moreover, we aligned these nine QTLs to the cowpea genome. Each of the QTLs was positioned in a genomic region ranging from 209,000bp to 12,590,450bp, and the QTL with the largest effect (21.8%) on heat tolerance, qHT4-1, was located within an interval of only 234,195bp. These results provide SNP markers useful for marker-assisted selection for heat tolerance and lay a foundation for cloning, characterization, and applications of the genes controlling the cowpea heat tolerance for heat tolerance genetic improvement in cowpea and related crops.

published proceedings

  • Mol Genet Genomics

author list (cited authors)

  • Angira, B., Zhang, Y., Scheuring, C. F., Zhang, Y., Masor, L., Coleman, J. R., ... Zhang, M.

complete list of authors

  • Angira, Brijesh||Zhang, Yang||Scheuring, Chantel F||Zhang, Yadong||Masor, Laura||Coleman, Julie R||Liu, Yun-Hua||Singh, Bir B||Zhang, Hong-Bin||Hays, Dirk B||Zhang, Meiping

publication date

  • January 2022