Table_1_Identification of Introgressed Alleles Conferring High Fiber Quality Derived From Gossypium barbadense L. in Secondary Mapping Populations of G. hirsutum L..XLSX

The improvement of fiber quality is an essential goal in cotton breeding. In our previous studies, several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) contributing to improved fiber quality were identified in different introgressed chromosomal regions from Sea Island cotton (Gossypium barbadense L.) in a primary introgression population (Pop. A) of upland cotton (G. hirsutum L.). In the present study, to finely map introgressed major QTLs and accurately dissect the genetic contribution of the target introgressed chromosomal segments, we backcrossed two selected recombinant inbred lines (RILs) that presented desirable high fiber quality with their high lint-yielding recurrent parent to ultimately develop two secondary mapping populations (Pop. B and Pop. C). Totals of 20 and 27 QTLs for fiber quality were detected in Pop. B and Pop. C, respectively, including four and five for fiber length, four and eight for fiber micronaire, two and four for fiber uniformity, five and four for fiber elongation, and six and four for fiber strength, respectively. Two QTLs for lint percentage were detected only in Pop. C. In addition, seven stable QTLs were identified, including two for both fiber length and fiber strength and three for fiber elongation. Five QTL clusters for fiber quality were identified in the introgressed chromosomal regions, and negative effects of these chromosomal regions on lint percentage (a major lint yield parameter) were not observed. Candidate genes with a QTL-cluster associated with fiber strength and fiber length in the introgressed region of Chr.7 were further identified. The results may be helpful for revealing the genetic basis of superior fiber quality contributed by introgressed alleles from G. barbadense. Possible strategies involving marker-assisted selection (MAS) for simultaneously improving upland cotton fiber quality and lint yield in breeding programs was also discussed.