Seed Coat Color in Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Conditioned by the b1 Locus, its Linkage with Simple Sequence Repeat Markers (SSRs) and its Association with Flower Shape, Flower Color, Fatty Acid Profile and Grain Yield
Previously seed coat color in flax has been used as a phenotypic marker for specialty quality traits and currently there is an increasing demand to use seed coat color in flax to market flax for human and animal nutrition uses. Seed coat color was studied to 1) understand the inheritance of seed coat color conditioned by the b1 locus, to 2) understand the relationship of other important flax traits with seed coat color as well as to 3) identify markers that are linked to seed coat color for future marker assisted selection of seed coat color. Spearman’s rank correlation and an allelism test was used to show the inheritance of the alleles at the b1 locus. Bulked segregant analysis (BSA) was used to identify putatively linked markers with the b1 locus, these were then screened on the CDC Bethune x M96006 recombinant inbred line population. Furthermore, the CDC Bethune x M96006 and CDC Bethune x USDA-ARS Crystal recombinant inbred line populations were used to identify any important flax traits that had a significant relationship with seed coat color. It was shown that seed coat color conditioned by the b1 locus was stably inherited and that b1vg and b1 are allelic to one another. The results of the BSA showed that there were 17 candidates for linkage but when these markers were screened on the population only the Lu456 from linkage group (LG) six was identified to have linkage (χ²=3.90; P<0.05) with the b1 locus. Additionally, it was shown that the b1 seed coat color allele of the b1 locus had a pleiotropic effect on flower color and flower shape and that seed coat color was associated with linolenic fatty acid content. None of the traits examined were found to be associated with the b1vg allele of this locus. These results show that the b1 locus is likely present on linkage group six, more marker coverage on linkage group six of markers that are polymorphic between the two seed coat color parents would increase the accuracy of detection. Lastly, this study showed that plant breeders should consider using the b1vg allele that conditions the variegated seed coat color to mark unique lines with important combinations of traits because it sorted independently for seed quality traits. Whereas, the yellow seed coat color conditioned by the b1 allele was found to be associated with higher linolenic fatty acid content and the semi-lethality of this allele would make it not suitable for use in parental lines.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeBai, Yuguang; Pozniak, Curtis; Tar'an, Bunyamin
Copyright DateJanuary 2015
Seed Coat Color Inheritance
Simple Sequence Repeat Markers
Recombinant Inbred Line Mapping Populations