Construction of a Genetic Linkage Map and Identification of QTLs for Seed Weight and Seed Size Traits in Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.)

Seed weight and seed size both are quantitative traits and have been considered as important components of grain yield, thus identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed traits in lentil (Lens culinaris) would be beneficial for the improvement of grain yield. Hence the main objective of this study was to identify QTLs for seed traits using an intraspecific mapping population derived from a cross between L. culinaris cv. Precoz (seed weight-5.1g, seed size-5.7mm) and L. culinaris cv. L830 (seed weight-2.2g, seed size-4mm) comprising 126 F8-RILs. For this, two microsatellite genomic libraries enriched for (GA/CT) and (GAA/CTT) motif were constructed which resulted in the development of 501 new genomic SSR markers. Six hundred forty seven SSR markers (including 146 previously published) were screened for parental polymorphism and 219 (33.8%) were found to be polymorphic among the parents. Of these 216 were mapped on seven linkage groups at LOD4.0 spanning 1183.7cM with an average marker density of 5.48cM. Phenotypic data from the RILs was used to identify QTLs for the seed weight and seed size traits by single marker analysis (SMA) followed by composite interval mapping (CIM) which resulted in one QTL each for the 2 traits (qSW and qSS) that were co-localized on LG4 and explained 48.4% and 27.5% of phenotypic variance respectively. The current study would serve as a strong foundation for further validation and fine mapping for utilization in lentil breeding programs.