Genetic architecture of zinc hyperaccumulation in Arabidopsis halleri: the essential role of QTL × environment interactions
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- •This study sought to determine the main genomic regions that control zinc (Zn) hyperaccumulation in Arabidopsis halleri and to examine genotype × environment effects on phenotypic variance. To do so, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were mapped using an interspecific A. halleri × Arabidopsis lyrata petraea F2 population.
- •The F2 progeny as well as representatives of the parental populations were cultivated on soils at two different Zn concentrations. A linkage map was constructed using 70 markers.
- •In both low and high pollution treatments, zinc hyperaccumulation showed high broad-sense heritability (81.9 and 74.7%, respectively). Five significant QTLs were detected: two QTLs specific to the low pollution treatment (chromosomes 1 and 4), and three QTLs identified at both treatments (chromosomes 3, 6 and 7). These QTLs explained 50.1 and 36.5% of the phenotypic variance in low and high pollution treatments, respectively. Two QTLs identified at both treatments (chromosomes 3 and 6) showed significant QTL × environment interactions.
- •The QTL on chromosome 3 largely colocalized with a major QTL previously identified for Zn and cadmium (Cd) tolerance. This suggests that Zn tolerance and hyperaccumulation share, at least partially, a common genetic basis and may have simultaneously evolved on heavy metal-contaminated soils.