Identification of QTL Affecting Sugars in Ananas Melon

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  • 1 Texas A&M Univ., Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Weslaco, TX 78596
  • | 2 Texas A&M Univ., Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Weslaco, TX 78596
  • | 3 Texas A&M Univ., Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Weslaco, TX 78596
  • | 4 Texas A&M Univ., Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, College Station, TX 77843
  • | 5 Texas A&M Univ., Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, College Station, TX 77843

Sucrose, fructose, total sugars and soluble solids are major factors in determining mature melon fruit sweetness. Bulked segregant analysis was utilized to detect RAPD markers associated with QTL for sucrose, total sugars and soluble solids in an F2 population from the ananas melon cross of Deltex (high sugars) × TGR1551 (low sugars). Sucrose, glucose, fructose and total sugar data were obtained from 108 F2 plants by means of HPLC. Clear separations for sucrose, total sugars and soluble solids between Deltex and TGR1551 were observed, whereas slight differences for glucose and fructose were found. Continuous distributions for sucrose, total sugars and soluble solids were observed in the F2 population indicating quantitative inheritance for the sweetness traits. A significant negative correlation was observed between sucrose and glucose (r = -25) or fructose (r = -0.31). A significant positive correlation was noted between sucrose and total sugars (r = 0.80) or soluble solids (r = 0.64). Three low and high DNA bulk pairs for sucrose, total sugars and soluble solids were developed. A total of 360 primers were used to simultaneously screen between the low and high bulks, and between Deltex and TGR1551. Sixty-eight RAPD markers were polymorphic for the low and high bulks. Of the 68 markers, 24 were found to be significantly associated with sucrose, total sugars or soluble solids on the basis of single-factor ANOVA. Marker OM15.550 was consistently associated with QTL affecting sucrose, glucose, fructose, total sugars and soluble solids, and accounted for 7% to 25% of the phenotypic variation for the traits. These markers associated with the sugar synthesis QTL could be useful to transfer these genes into a low sugar cultivar to enhance the fruit sweetness.

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